Dear YMCA Members and Community Supporters,

There are many benefits of living in a close-knit rural community. It does not take long to get to where you want to go compared to the high traffic chaos of larger cities. The needed amenities are generally nearby. Our schools are good and it is just a nice place to raise a family. We, the Wilson family, feel blessed that we can call Norwich our hometown.

We were recently asked as a family to be the spokespersons for the upcoming Open Doors Scholarship Campaign for the YMCA. Each one of us has a personal “Y story” that we feel are important to share. Those stories are reflected below:

“At a young age, I became a member of the YMCA. I took swimming lessons from Ruth Lechner and Dennis Cole. I played every indoor sport imaginable, attended dances and even learned some arts and crafts. The Y was the place to be. The Y is a place for kids…absolutely yes!, but it is also a place for teens, young adults, parents and the “gray hairs” (I am one of those, too). It is truly a life-saving institution for many, especially me. In 2009, I had a heart attack in the fitness room upstairs at the Y. I had angels over me that day in the form of trained people who knew CPR and how to use a defibrillator. I would not be writing this letter had I not been at the Y that day.”-Doug

“I, too, was born and raised in Norwich. I began attending the YMCA at a very young age. I took   swimming lessons, went to dances, was in the Leaders Club, and hung out with my friends there after school. I am still an active member. I regularly attend fitness classes, volunteer for events and am a member of the Board of Directors. Our daughter, Kelly, also carried on our Y traditions. She pretty much did the same things as her Mom and Dad except her swimming career went beyond her Mom’s “flying fish” status. She too, has her own story on what the YMCA meant to her growing up.” -Sharon

“The Norwich YMCA was an extremely important part of my childhood in Norwich. I began my career playing indoor co-ed soccer in the upstairs gym and shortly thereafter, thankfully (for everyone),   shifted my attention to the pool. I swam lap after lap in the downstairs pool with no windows and no ventilation, and had the time of my life. I made great friends, learned important life lessons, laughed, cried, traveled all over New York State , and won so much more than I lost both in and out of the pool, thanks to my wonderful coaches and teammates. I hope that more children in Norwich have the same opportunities to play sports, learn about health and fitness, swim, laugh a lot, and make wonderful memories. I thank the Y for all it has done and continues to do for me, my family, and for the Norwich community.”-Kelly

Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the Y. In today’s world, people have to be careful how they spend their money. Having to choose whether to feed family members or go to the Y should not be an issue. We are sorry to say that it is a problem for many members of our community.

You can help! The Open Doors Scholarship Campaign allows anyone who cannot afford it, access to membership and programs at the Y. 

Each one of us is a firm believer in the mission of the Y and we want to see it continue to be a safe, fun environment for all. In today’s chaotic world, we feel that this is more critical than ever!

We were truly honored to be asked to be the spokespersons for the Open Doors Scholarship Campaign this year. We want to thank all of you for your generosity in the past. Please consider a donation toward this year’s campaign. Your gift will assure that the doors to the Norwich YMCA are open to all! Thank you so very much. 


Doug and Sharon Wilson

Kelly Wilson Jones

Questions about how you can GIVE to the Norwich Family YMCA?
Jamey Mullen
607.336.9622 ext. 37 
68-70 North Broad Street
Norwich, NY. 13815

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