Y Notes

Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause - blog post image

Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause

  • Ronda Graff
  • 01-Mar-2019


Over the past week, dozens of people have ventured outside their comfort zones on two separate occasions, all on behalf of the YMCA.

Last Wednesday, the YMCA conducted its’ annual Partners With Youth (PWY) phone-a-thon campaign, where dozens of volunteers made hundreds of calls on behalf of the YMCA’s scholarship program.

First, thank you to everyone who made a donation or a pledge to the 2019 PWY campaign. Every dollar stays local, providing financial assistance toward youth sports fee, the Live Y’ers after-school program and memberships for both families and individuals. If you did not receive a call and would like to support this program with a donation, please contact the YMCA.

But it was those volunteers, who were asked to call people and ask for a donation, who really pushed their boundaries.

For many volunteers, asking for money is harder than speaking in front of room full of people. Asking for donations is more uncomfortable than walking around in a swimsuit in public. Asking for a pledge is tougher than getting through Martha Chmiel’s weight-lifting class at the Y - no small task.

The situation was eased a bit, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Shelly Sehnert, who opened up the bakery for the evening, which is a wonderful home-base to make the calls. Asking for money is always made easier with pizza and drinks and friends nearby.

Another group of people also tested new waters this weekend…literally.

On Sunday, 22 people participated in the YMCA’s Indoor Sprint Triathlon with proceeds going toward the Partners with Youth scholarship program. Of those nearly two dozen triathletes, half had never competed in a triathlon. Most likely, they had never done swimming, biking and running all on the same day ever before. And one person, a YMCA member, admitted that he had never even been in the YMCA pool...ever.

Leading up to the triathlon, questions from participants were all over the board. “Can I wear floaties?” - If you aren’t too embarrassed to look like a four-year-old, knock yourself out.

“I’m in my 60s. Am I too old?” - There was no age limit. In fact, our triathletes ranged in age from 12 to 65, showing there is no age limit when it comes to being active.

“Do I have time to shave my legs between the swim and the bike?” - I think they were joking. But when we had to tell one triathlete to rinse the shampoo from her hair so we could start the bike portion, I’m not sure.

Thank you again to who donated to the Partners with Youth campaign this year, who volunteered to ask for donations or who decided trying not to drown for 10 minutes in a triathlon was a great way to make a donation.


In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a bit of snow here and there on the ground. And if the weather forecasts are even a wee bit accurate, there is likely going to be more winter weather on the way this weekend...and next weekend...perhaps coming to an end by the Fourth of July.

And while I personally love the snow, it does inhibit the start of soccer season at the YMCA. Even you can get past the cold and the wind, it is difficult to hold a soccer game in the snow when you can’t see the out-of-bound lines. Not impossible, but very difficult.

So there will be a delay to the YMCA’s soccer season. If you have already signed up your child, don’t start to worry yet if you haven’t received a call from a coach. And if you still haven’t signed up your child, whether in kindergarten or eighth grade, there is still time to get your child registered and not have to face the wrath of a 7-year-old who wanted to play soccer but can’t.

And the Y will be contacting coaches and players soon with an updated plan for the soccer season, as soon as snow isn’t in the forecast every day...so possibly April.