BENEFITING: YMCA Greater Boston
ORGANIZER: YMCA Greater Boston
EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 20, 2015
Y I Run
I wonder when it will really hit me…you’re running the Boston Marathon. Recently, I walked across the finish line and couldn't quite believe that I was going to become one of the many people I have watched in awe as they journey through a city that has meant so much to so many people. After April 15th 2013, running the Boston Marathon became a life goal that brought both nerves and dedication. To run for a city that has played such a special role in my childhood and adult life is simply incredible. To run on behalf of a man that has taught me how to cherish family, value friends, and find a place of work that changes my life for the better…well, there simply are no words. He is why I run.
My grandfather, Wayne Evans, began his YMCA career during his final year at Boston University. In need of a part-time job, he started at the Dorchester YMCA running their men’s leagues, summer camp (now referred to as Camp Ponkapoag), and teen programs. By May’s graduation, he was offered a full-time position. The rest, as you say, is history. After his time with Greater Boston, he transitioned to become the Associate Executive in Providence, Rhode Island. After building their programs, he made another move to Malden to be their Executive Director. Finally, he was offered the CEO/President position at the Old Colony YMCA in Brockton. It was at Old Colony that he built their association by linking up with a few of the independent branches. With over 40 years with the YMCA, my grandfather retired in the early 90s.
To this day, every visit is filled with Y stories and the one I cherish most, is that has always told me how he valued and loved going to work every single day. Not many people can say that. As I work to achieve even a fraction of the career he held, I love working for a place that has meant so much to my family.
Growing up a Y kid, I started in their Early Education and family programs. From mommy and me infant swim classes, to before/afterschool, summer camp, gymnastics, horseback riding…you name it, I learned how to do it at the Y. Naturally, after my first year of college I decided to apply to the Y to become a camp counselor. I figured there was no better place to learn whether my passion for education and child/family development was real. Within weeks I was hooked and I knew this was where I needed to be. Throughout college and graduate school, I kept my ties to the Y. As I worked through my final semester at Tufts I knew the real world was coming fast. I applied everywhere, but knew where I truly wanted to be. With a little luck and an informational interview with my now admired colleague, I got my foot in the door of the Greater Boston YMCA with a part-time/temporary position working on a summer grant for our teen workers. As I head into year six at the association I strive to value each transition just as my grandfather did back when he began.
My “Y Story” certainly isn’t a short one, but I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit more about Y I Run. Why I’m choosing to spend these next few months running in the dead of winter and asking you to help me get there. I am blessed to give back to YGB and all they offer to our families, communities, and specifically youth. The money you donate may be going to the next Wayne Evans. The next young person looking to make a difference for a place that has changed their life for the better.
Thank you for letting me share my story and supporting me through my journey to the finish line.