My dad took me to the YMCA in Moline, Ill. in 1949 because, growing up as a poor kid, he understood what a positive experience the Y was for him, and he knew I needed what the Y offered. I was 9, didn't know how to swim, was overweight, and had no goals. At the Y I not only learned to swim and lost weight, I had experiences which would lead me to a healthier, happier, more productive life. Sixty years later, I can thank a Y coach for me attending college with a swimming scholarship and a Y youth director who inspired me toward a career in law.
As a member of YMCAs around the country until moving to Payson, I know first hand what a quality organization the Y is. I trust the town council has the skills and vision to work a deal with the Y and will not be deterred by a few vocal naysayers who have yet to grasp the unmatched expertise and resources the Y brings to the table, or those who protest against the Y to serve their own personal political agenda. I urge the council to support ourommunity and our kidsy making possible the priceless opportunities which a YMCA would offer.