SIDNEY — The Sidney-Shelby County YMCA hosted the 31st Heritage Club dinner celebration at the Shelby Oaks Club on Thursday, Oct. 19. The YMCA Heritage Club is a group of individuals who have supported the YMCA Endowment Fund with a gift of cash or securities, or who have made provisions for the YMCA in their estate planning. This group has created a legacy which will help to ensure that the YMCA has the added resources needed to assist and impact people’s lives for generations to come.
Guests heard from two benefactors of programs funded by the YMCA Endowment Fund. Mike Herbert, a participant in the YMCA’s Delay the Disease Parkinson’s Exercise Class and his instructor Julie McIntyre shared how the class has had tremendous benefits. Those improvements range from class members being able to get up off the floor on their own and walking up and down stairs more easily to being informed by a doctor that one of his patient’s abilities had improved 30 percent since beginning the class.
Betty Hughes who gets up early several times a week to take part in the YMCA’s Aqua Aerobics program also shared her story. She credits her good health to the class which enabled her to recover quickly from open heart surgery last year, and also she and her husband Wilbur’s survival when they were bounced out of a raft on a white water rafting trip at age 71!
Devon Beer, YMCA Foundation chairman, updated guests on the status of the Endowment Fund, noting that for the first time in its history total assets exceed $3M! He then assisted Sidney-Shelby County YMCA CEO Ed Thomas induct the 2017 Heritage Club members: John and Debbie Grazioso and Mark and Deb Kaufman.
Paul Waldsmith, CEO of the Champaign Family YMCA in Urbana, and former Program Director of the Sidney Shelby County YMCA, celebrated the life of Dennis Ruble who recently passed away. Ruble was executive director of the local YMCA for 25 years. Waldsmith’s recollections and those he shared of former board presidents and staff were sometimes humorous and sometimes tearful. Ruble’s wife Donnajean followed up with recapping their family’s YMCA journey.
“We are so thankful to be able to count 154 families and individuals who have pledged to keep the YMCA strong as part of their planned giving,” said Thomas. “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, staff, and especially the hundreds of families and children who are benefiting from Heritage Club members’ generosity, we thank you for making such a meaningful commitment to the YMCA.”
For more information on the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA Heritage Club, contact Thomas at 937-492-9134.