Tag Archives: YMCA of Talbot County

Grayce B. Kerr Fund Donates to YMCA of Talbot County “Preparing for Tomorrow” Campaign

The Grayce B. Kerr Fund recently pledged a $150,000 matching gift to the YMCA of Talbot County toward finishing its $5 million “Preparing for Tomorrow” Capital Campaign.

The Fund’s donation comes at a critical time as the YMCA is asking the public to support the final phase of its Capital Campaign through a direct mail piece that will be mailed to local residents in the middle of October. The gifts of donors who come forward now to support the YMCA’s Capital Campaign will be doubled by the Fund’s matching gift program, providing an extra boost to the Campaign’s final phase.

To date, volunteers have raised over $4.5 million to renovate facilities and expand programs at the YMCA for children, families and seniors, including adding a Teen and Family Center to the side of its current location on Peachblossom Road in Easton.

According to Robbie Gill, CEO of the YMCA of Talbot County, “For over 56 years, the YMCA of Talbot County has made a significant contribution in addressing specific needs in our community, such as after school programs, swim lessons, Camp Lazy Days, wellness programs, English as a Second Language, and summer camps. These programs could not have been offered without the generous support of community friends and YMCA members.”

He adds, “The Grayce B. Kerr Fund continues to be pillar in this generous community that is making a difference and enhancing the lives of thousands of youth and adults in our communities.”

For further information about contributing to the YMCA of Talbot County’s Capital Campaign, contact F. Graham Lee, YMCA Chief Development Officer at 410-822-0566. Online giving is available at www.talbotymca.org.

JCPenney Customers Invited to ‘Round Up’ Purchases To Benefit the YMCA of Talbot County Afterschool Programs

From August 4 through 17, shoppers at JCPenney at Easton Marketplace are invited to round-up their purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to the YMCA of Talbot County to support quality afterschool programs in their community.   Purchases under $100 will be tax-free during this period.  The YMCA of Talbot County is partnering with JCPenney to provide children in need with access to life-enriching afterschool programs that foster their academic, physical and social development.

JCPenney formalized its commitment to the afterschool issue by making it the Company’s signature cause in 1999.  Since its inception, more than $80 million has been distributed to afterschool programs across every JCPenney community.  Since 2008, the YMCA of Talbot County has received over $3,000 from JCPenney through JCPenneyAfterschool.   The JCPenney Round-Up is held quarterly, with the next Round Up scheduled for October 13 through 26, 2010.

“The availability of quality, affordable afterschool programs continues to be an important community objective in order to meet the needs of working families,” said Robbie Gill, CEO of the YMCA of Talbot County.  “The support of JCPenney customers will make it possible for more local youth to participate in the YMCA’s afterschool programming, which includes homework help, recreational activities and healthy snacks.”

According to America After 3PM, a 2009 Afterschool Alliance report commissioned by JCPenney Afterschool, more than a quarter of America’s school children are on their own between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. More parents seek the resources to enroll their children in a beneficial afterschool program that helps kids develop social skills, engage in physical activity and achieve academic success – all within a safe and nurturing environment. JCPenney’s continuing support and commitment to the afterschool cause has made it possible for more children to participate in such positive afterschool environments nationwide.

For further information about the YMCA Afterschool Program, contact Cassi Friedman, Child Care and Family Services Director at the YMCA of Talbot County at 410-822-0566.  For further information about JCPenneyAfterschool, visit www.jcpenneyafterschool.org.

USA Dance Easton Chapter 6099 Donates to YMCA of Talbot County Strong Kids Campaign

The USA Dance Easton Chapter 6099 recently donated $500 to the YMCA of Talbot County’s Strong Kids Campaign. Through the Strong Kids Campaign, the YMCA offers scholarships to participants of all ages.  Support can be in the form of subsidized YMCA memberships, affordable after-school care, subsidized swim lessons, free camp experiences, and after-school programs for teens.

In January 2008, the YMCA of Talbot County partnered with USA Dance Easton to provide a wellness dance program to enhance the lives of its members and the community as a whole.

The USA Dance Easton Chapter 6099 is a local dance group formed by local people who love to dance, love music and enjoy exercise.  USA Dance is a national non-profit organization which promotes ballroom dancing in the local community and educates the public regarding the physical, mental and social benefits of dancing for a healthy life.

According to Amanda Showell, president of the USA Dance Easton Chapter 6099 and owner of Dancing on the Shore, “The YMCA of Talbot County has generously allowed us to use its gym monthly for our dances over the last three years.  This donation represents our appreciation of their generosity.”

Don Andrew, vice president and treasurer for USA Dance Easton Chapter 6099, adds, “The interest in ballroom dancing has grown immensely nationally with television shows, such as ‘Dancing with the Stars.’  Locally, we have also seen an increased interest here in ballroom dancing with the growth of our local YMCA.”

USA Dance Easton Chapter dance parties are alcohol and drug-free.  Participants range in age from 14 to 93 years old.  The dances are held on the first Saturday of each month at the YMCA of Talbot County from 7 to 10:30 p.m. with a few exceptions, which can be confirmed by checking the website www.usadanceeastonmd.com .  There is a lesson from 7 to 8 p.m.  Students 18 and under are FREE, YMCA and USA Dance members cost $10, and all other guests cost $12.

For more information, call Amanda Showell at 410-482-6169.  For information about donating to the YMCA of Talbot County, contact F. Graham Lee, chief development officer at the YMCA of Talbot County at 410-822-0566.

Frederick Douglass Honor Society/YMCA of Talbot County Race and Celebration Raises Almost $8,000 for Both Organizations

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10 Mile Race and Celebration was held in the historic district of Easton on May 1, 2010 and raised almost $8,000 for both organizations. Half of the race proceeds will be used for the creation of a memorial to honor Frederick Douglass on the Talbot County Courthouse lawn. The other half will be given to the YMCA of Talbot County to promote physical fitness in the community.

The event attracted over 200 runners and walkers to the 10-mile route that brought racers by historic sites in Easton where Frederick Douglass spoke as a free man. Inspirational quotes and facts about Frederick Douglass were placed on signs on the side of the course for racers to learn about the man whose accomplishments changed history and made extensive improvements in the lives of all Americans.

Over 70 volunteers were on-hand to lend support to the many logistical details of this 300th Anniversary event for the Town of Easton.

Tyler Sharp, age 22 and a Naval Academy midshipman, was the top overall male finisher completing the ten-mile course in 1:01:16 (average pace of six minute, eight second mile). Theresa Koebel, age 43 of Annapolis, MD, was the top overall female finisher completing the full course in 1:14:13 (average pace of seven minute, 25 second mile). In addition to awards being given to these overall top male and female finishers, awards were given to the top three finishers in specific age groups.

Judge Katie O’Malley, Maryland’s First Lady arrived just in time to congratulate Tyler Sharp as he crossed the finish line and cheered on the other racers to immediately follow. In addition to meeting local community and civic leaders, Judge O’Malley spoke to the crowd about the importance of memorializing Frederick Douglass in the same county as his birth. Judge O’Malley also took the time to visit the booth of local Random House author, Timothy Young, where he showed her his children’s book that he wrote and illustrated, I’m Looking for a Monster!. Judge O’Malley then stopped and spoke to teachers and students of The Benedictine School from Ridgely, MD to learn more about this school specializing in education, programs and services for both children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Visitors to the post-race celebration were able to enjoy music by the Union Baptist Mass Choir of Easton; blues music by the Blues Deville Band; Motown and R&B sounds by the highly popular XPD Band and throwback tunes from the local barbershop quarter, Bay Country Chorus.

Racers were welcomed in the morning by the mayor of Easton, The Honorable Robert C. Willey; The Honorable Corey Pack, Talbot County councilman; The Honorable Megan Cook, Easton Town councilwoman; Eric Lowery, president, Frederick Douglass Honor Society; and Robbie Gill, CEO of the YMCA of Talbot County with Eric Lowery actually starting the race.

Speakers at the celebration included Delegate Addie Eckardt; Walter Chase, president of the Talbot County NAACP; Eleanor Shriver Magee, executive director of the Historical Society of Talbot County and Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, with Delegate Haddaway-Riccio presenting an official House of Delegates Citation to leaders of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the YMCA of Talbot County.

Megan Cook, councilwoman for the Town of Easton and chair of the entire race committee says, “The event was a huge success! We had the support of a lot of racers, volunteers and visitors to the celebration. We’re happy with our fundraising efforts.”

About the Frederick Douglass Historical Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10 Mile Race and Celebration
To learn more about the Race and Celebration, please visit http://www.frederickdouglassymca10miler.com or contact Mary Ann Henker of The Henker Group at 410.253.7023 or mahenker@thehenkergroup.com.

First Lady Katie O’Malley Scheduled to Speak at Frederick Douglass Honor Society/YMCA of Talbot County Race and Celebration

First Lady Katie O’Malley will officially welcome visitors to the Frederick Douglass Honor Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10 Mile Race and Celebration on May 1, 2010.

Beginning at 9:00 am, walkers, runners and wheelchair athletes will set out from the Talbot County Courthouse to follow a 10-mile route that will pass by historic sites in Easton, MD where Frederick Douglass spoke as a free man. A shuttle will be available to those participants that choose not to finish the 10-ten miles. The event will show support and honor Frederick Douglass whose accomplishments changed history and made extensive improvements in the lives of all Americans.

Half of the race proceeds will be used for the creation of a memorial to honor Frederick Douglass on the Talbot County Courthouse lawn. The other half will be given to the YMCA of Talbot County to promote physical fitness in the community.

From 10:00 to 2:30 pm, a Celebration will take place in the historic district of Easton that will include a special welcome by Maryland’s First Lady Katie O’Malley, who is expected to make remarks at 12:30 pm in front of the Talbot County Courthouse. Other special guests include a representative from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the founders of Black History Month; the Historical Society of Talbot County; Talbot County NAACP; Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and Delegate Addie C. Eckardt.

The Celebration – expected to be large enough such that some streets in the historic district will be closed to vehicle traffic – will also include many vendors and entertainment by the highly popular XPD Band and the Blues DeVille Band to also include an uplifting performance by the Union Baptist Choir of Easton and a throwback performance by barbershop quartet, Bay Country Chorus. Additionally, Random House author, Timothy Young, will be present to sign copies of his book, I’m Looking for a Monster! Shops and restaurants in the historic district that are generally open on Saturday’s will be open and welcome all visitors.

The race and celebration is an official Easton 300th Anniversary event.

Megan Cook, councilwoman for the Town of Easton and chair of the entire race committee says, “May 1st will be an exciting and historic day in Easton. This will definitely prove to be a ‘don’t miss’ event and we encourage everyone to come out and participate in the family-friendly festivities.”

For more information on the race and celebration and to register, please visit www.frederickdouglassymca10miler.com.

About the Frederick Douglass Historical Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10 Mile Race and Celebration
To learn more about the Race and Celebration, please visit http://www.frederickdouglassymca10miler.com or contact Mary Ann Henker of The Henker Group at 410.253.7023 or mahenker@thehenkergroup.com.

YMCA of Talbot County Breaks Ground for New Teen and Family Center

The YMCA of Talbot County broke ground for the New Teen and Family Center on March 30, 2010.  The $3 million Center, designed to provide meaningful programs that build healthy habits in middle and high school youth, will include two state-of-the-art climbing walls, a media center/computer lab, a music studio, cooking classroom/studio, and space for program activities. As part of the YMCA’s $5 million Capital Campaign, the Teen and Family Center will encompass 9,200 square feet adjacent to the current YMCA building.  The Center is scheduled to be completed by end of December 2010.

A non-profit organization serving people from all walks of life, the YMCA has always been in the business of building healthy habits in teens, with its mission of “fostering opportunities for individuals, families, and community that strengthen spirit, mind and body for all.”  Recently, the organization realized the need to expand its facilities and space to fully embrace this approach in delivering teen programs, school-aged programs, childcare programs, and family-life programs.

Robbie Gill, President and CEO of the YMCA of Talbot County, comments, “We want the Teen and Family Center to make a difference in the lives of young people and their families in our community.  One in every two children in Talbot County is a member of the YMCA or involved in YMCA programs.”    He adds, “The YMCA believes developing assets and values in our local youth will positively impact our current youth challenges.”

According to Kit Hughes, Chairman of the Community Phase of the YMCA’s Capital Campaign, “We are pleased that to date the YMCA of Talbot County has raised $4,046, 393, which is 80.9 percent of its Capital Campaign goal of $5 million.    The goal in our community phase is to raise $1 million by the end of this year to wrap up the Campaign.”  She adds, “Community members can play a critical role in supporting the YMCA’s youth endeavors through donations to the Capital Campaign.”

An exhibit has recently been installed on a wall in the renovated lobby of the YMCA which chronicles the need for the current Capital Campaign and identifies how the YMCA will deliver its services over the next several decades.  According to F. Graham Lee, Chief Development Officer, “The wall will also document the Capital Campaign gifts over the course of the Campaign so that we can recognize the support received from the community.”

For information about making a financial pledge to the YMCA’s Capital Campaign, contact F. Graham Lee, Chief Development Officer at the YMCA of Talbot County at 410-822-0566.

YMCA Recognizes 80-Year Old Man for Swimming 100 Miles

Swimming has been a part of 80-year old Jerry Sweeney’s life for the past two decades, but not until two years ago did he try and break records for himself.  Sweeney, an Easton resident, recently completed 100 miles as part of the YMCA of Talbot County’s “Lap It Up” Program, which encourages YMCA members to swim extra laps to maintain their fitness.

Sweeney, the oldest member of the program, decided two years ago to try and swim the distance of 100 miles in one year.   This past year, he accomplished his goal.  Sweeney, a self-published author, comments, “I swam at the YMCA of Talbot County for four years before finding out about the program.  It challenged me to do more laps.”  He adds, “As a heart patient with high blood pressure, I have found that swimming is good for the lungs.”

According to E Hughes, YMCA of Talbot County Aquatics Director, “There are about two dozen people participating in the program.  Any member can participate, tracking the laps they swim from January through December each year.”

Hughes adds that of the 13 participants in the program, 76 percent swam 100 miles or more in 2009.  Those who did complete this mileage received a certificate of recognition.  Sweeney swam an average of a half-mile or 18 laps for over 200 days in 2009.

He quips, “I told my kids it was the equivalent of swimming to Philadelphia, only it took me longer than usual to get there.”

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the YMCA of Talbot County Announce Joint 10-Mile Fundraiser Race and Post-Race Celebration

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the YMCA of Talbot County announce the Frederick Douglass Honor Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10 Mile Race and Celebration scheduled for May 1, 2010.

The Race is two-fold. First, it will allow participants to retrace the 10-mile route Frederick Douglass walked from St. Michaels to his confinement at the Talbot County jail in Easton, MD after a failed escape attempt in April 1836. Walkers, runners and wheelchair athletes will retrace this path to raise monies for the creation of a memorial to honor Frederick Douglass on the Talbot County Courthouse lawn, celebrating both the triumph and achievements of this great American. Frederick Douglass (born circa 1818 into slavery in Talbot County, MD – died as a free man on February 20, 1895 in Washington, D.C.) is one of the most prominent figures in African American and United States history. His imprisonment at the jail set the stage for a sequence of events that led to his eventual escape to freedom, accomplishments that changed history and also for extensive improvements in the lives of all Americans.
Pam Black, PR liaison for the Frederick Douglass Honor Society remarks, “Erecting a statue in the county of Frederick Douglass’ birthplace will further the respect and honor already afforded to this distinguished American who was a man of great accomplishment: abolitionist, women’s suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer.”
The YMCA of Talbot County will share 50% of the race proceeds to promote physical fitness in the community where “the Y” serves one in three citizens in the area. The YMCA of Talbot County is currently in the middle of a $5 million capital campaign where a majority of those funds will be used to build a new Teen and Family Center. Robbie Gill, the Y’s executive director continues, “Monies received from the Race will be earmarked for continued youth development and enrichment programs as part of our capital campaign.”

Megan Cook, councilwoman for the Town of Easton and chair of the entire race committee says, “The partnership of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the YMCA underscores the connection of the past and present, to promote the community’s best interests of both legacy and health.”

Mary Ann Henker, marketing and PR chair for the race explains the reasoning for the ‘Accomplish the Possible’ tagline, “Frederick Douglass taught us that anything is possible with effort and hard work. He said in his speech to Talbot County schoolchildren, ‘What was possible for me is possible for you.’ This is a philosophy shared by the YMCA as it strives to promote strength in both body and character. It is an appropriate tagline to support this shared partnership as both missions of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and YMCA will be realized.”

The event, to also include a post-Race celebration in the historic district of Easton, is expected to attract a total of 5,000 participants to include racers, bystanders and celebration visitors.

Manning Lee, co-chair of the celebration sub-committee, says, “After the Race, everyone (participants, family members, friends and others from the region) will join in a “family-friendly” celebration event in downtown Easton, now commemorating its 300th anniversary. The Celebration will include music, food, and vendors along with the participation of all shopkeepers and restaurants in the heart of the historic district.”

The race and celebration committee consists of the following members (listed in alphabetical order):
•    Pam Black – Marketing & PR Co-Chair
•    Delores Bowens – Treasurer
•    Childene Brooks – Transportation Chair
•    Megan Cook – Committee Chair |  Town of Easton Councilwoman
•    Tracy Cohee – Health & Safety Chair & Registration Chair |  Executive Director, St. Michaels Family YMCA
•    Mary Ann Henker – Marketing & PR Co-Chair |  President, The Henker Group
•    Manning Lee – Celebration Co-Chair |  Deputy Director, National Autism Association of Maryland-Eastern Shore
•    Eric Lowery – Materials Chair
•    Harriette Lowery – Celebration Co-Chair
•    Kelley Malone – Sponsorship Chair |  Town of Easton Councilwoman

The event has also received in-kind graphic design services from Tim Young of Eclectic Graphics and web development support from Joel Shilliday of Diving Dog Productions.

For more information on the race and celebration and to register, please visit www.frederickdouglassymca10miler.com.

About the Frederick Douglass Historical Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10 Mile Race and Celebration
To learn more about the Race and Celebration, please visit http://www.frederickdouglassymca10miler.com or contact Mary Ann Henker of The Henker Group at 410.253.7023.

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10-Miler Names Marketing and PR Team

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10-Miler recently named Mary Ann Henker, president of The Henker Group, as the marketing and PR chair for the road race and post-race celebration. Tim Young, owner and creative director of Eclectic Graphics, will further support the marketing efforts with graphic design expertise and Joel Shilliday, CEO of Diving Dog Productions will oversee all development of the event’s web site at www.frederickdouglassymca10miler.com.

Henker comments, “In addition to supporting the mission of the YMCA, the race is important on so many levels as it relates to Frederick Douglass’ life. The 10-mile route will retrace a portion of Douglass’ path from St. Michaels to his confinement in the Talbot County courthouse jail. His imprisonment at the jail set the stage for a sequence of events that provided him the opportunity to escape and set forth on his journey to support pivotal change in this country. I was honored to be asked to be a part of this planning group. With the support of Tim’s award-winning graphic designs and Joel’s web development expertise we aim to market this event and attract racers throughout the mid-Atlantic region.”

Megan Cook, councilwoman for the Town of Easton and chair of the entire race committee says, “Residents in the area have been wonderful in supporting the purpose of the race – 50% of the money raised will go to support the YMCA of Talbot County’s capital campaign and the other 50% will be used by the Frederick Douglass Honor Society for a bronze memorial of Frederick Douglass on the Talbot County Courthouse lawn – but we will use Mary Ann, Tim, and Joel’s respective expertise to build the momentum needed to promote the race past our immediate community as the purpose of this event should be recognized throughout the entire region.”

Henker has 18 years experience in organizational    management, business development and international business to include completing business and contract negotiations both in and with individuals of 22 countries. Her management and business style is that of aggressive marketing, detailed planning and strict fiscal management that results in a consistent increase per year in sales, membership numbers and other revenue generators for her clients. From a marketing standpoint, Henker excels in gaining exposure and attracting attention for the underfunded effort, product or service. Prior to establishing The Henker Group in 2004 she was  the executive director of the Giant Screen Theater  Association, the worldwide association for IMAX theaters.

Young established Eclectic Graphics in 2004 and has over 25 years of creative experience. He’s been designing Talbot County Tourism’s advertising for many years, has created corporate identity packages for The Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, The St. Michaels Harbour Inn and his designs for the Talbot International Food & Wine festival won a Maryland Tourism award. He has art directed magazines, toy and product designs, and worked with national clients such as The Muppets, Universal Studios, Disney, Popular Science, Golf Digest, National Lampoon and many others. Young is also the Author/Illustrator of the pop-up book I’m Looking for a Monster!, published by Random House in 2008 and the creator of the iPhone Application Creatures & Characters Mix-Em-Ups.

Shilliday has been creating educational multimedia and developing web sites since establishing his online communications firm Diving Dog Productions Inc. (DDP) in 1996. DDP has built well-over 400 web sites for both large and small businesses, including many Eastern Shore organizations. Additionally, he is an officer with the Shark Research Institute and paints endangered and protected species. Further, Shilliday was a participating artist in the 2009 Arts in Easton that is a public banner art program sponsored by Easton Main Street in Easton, MD.