At age 4, Joshua was a sweet and quiet little boy. Timid on the playground, he was most comfortable with his arms wrapped around mom’s leg, watching the world happen around him. As he got older, his mom noticed other kids his age starting to explore - running, jumping, experiencing the world in new ways. But not Joshua. He stayed tucked away in his little bubble, only to observe the freedom and joy of other children from the inside out. Much of his daily experience came with anxiety and fear too much commotion always scared him. Even birthday parties, the highlight of a typical 4 year olds day, were an insurmountable feat, as the singing and the bustle were just too much. The world, in all its possibilities, often seemed to be too much for Joshua.
But then, Joshua’s mom was approached by a gentleman who worked at the commissary where Joshua and his family lived. He let her know that the Marine Corp Parents Association wanted to donate a week of camp at the Randolph Y to Joshua. Joshua’s mom was thankful and excited, but also nervous. The memories she had of camp as a child were full of new experiences and challenges -two things Joshua found impossible to endure. But they gave it a shot. The first day, Joshua was nervous, but he did it. At end of the day, he was so excited to tell his mom all about his day - about all the things he did and the people he met. In his mom’s own words, “It was nothing short of amazing.” He was telling her the story of his day with joy, showing pride in himself, something he had never done before.
Special Edition: Spring 2017
As a Randolph YMCA member you’ll understand that we are at an exciting time in our history! We have accomplished so much in the past year, and I hope you have observed the changes that are in progress. We are making history at our Y, with our first ever capital campaign, The Building What Matters Campaign. I write today to ask you to join us to celebrate our unique spirit with a donation to the Building What Matters Campaign. This campaign aims to secure contributions that will be used to dramatically enhance our facilities.
Thanks to our generous donors, the first phase of the project is already underway. Our Indoor Track and Fitness Equipment area is being renovated with a new track surface, natural lighting, new equipment, upgraded audio system , new spin room and HVAC. The highlight of the Building What Matters Capital Campaign is the planned addition of an ADA (American with Disabilities Act) accessible locker room as well as improvements in all existing locker rooms. Providing barrier-free access for hundreds of people preparing for physical activity and aquatic rehabilitation is critical and will be, quite honestly, truly life changing for many.
I am inspired and humbled by our many benefactors who donated to this Campaign so far, we simply could not do it without them. It is an honor for me to be leading an organization that purely exists to strengthen our community. Our YMCA is on an extraordinary journey that I ask you to be part of.
Please consider a gift to the Building What Matters Campaign. I assure you that every gift that is made, regardless of the amount, is so important. The impact of your gift will be shared amongst our members and community for years to come!
I welcome your phone call or email to answer any questions you may have to learn more about our campaign and our vision.
William J. Lamia
The initial construction phase of The Building What Matters Capital Campaign began on September 28, 2016, thanks to the generosity of our Capital Campaign leadership donors. This phase will improve our widely used Indoor Track Area. Based on our member feedback the new look and updated features will modernize the facility and make it a more welcoming place for the people, families, and children who make this Y a part of their lives.
Over its 125 year history, the Randolph YMCA has strengthened the fabric of our community by focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Whether it’s connecting with friends, spending time as a family, or overcoming physical limitations, the Y has been the cornerstone of many of our lives and has been the foundation upon which countless goals have been set and achieved. To ensure that the Randolph YMCA can continue to honor its commitment as the anchor and gathering place of our community, the senior leadership and Board of the Y are focused on the current and future development of this organization.
Our first ever capital campaign, The Building What Matters Campaign, represents a significant investment in what matters to the Y: our diverse community and all its members: our youth, our adults, our seniors and our families. The Campaign aims to secure the financial resources necessary to dramatically enhance our facilities, which to many, is like a second home.
The Randolph YMCA hosted a Zumba® Party to raise funds and awareness for the Y's Annual Campaign which provides financial assistance for community members who otherwise could not afford Y membership or programs. Over 50 people of all ages and fitness abilities attended the Zumba® Party, and what a party it was! Partygoers danced to great music and burned significant calories, all to benefit a great cause; door prizes added to the excitement.
The instructors all donated their time to lead the one and one-half hour class. Set to Latin and World rhythms with easy-to-follow moves, Zumba mixes low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party that is a total workout - cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility. Group Exercise fundraisers will be held throughout the year and everyone is encouraged to participate!
In 2012, Donald, her husband of 28 years, was diagnosed with advanced stages of prostate cancer and passed away after a courageous two year battle with the disease. During that time, Kathy was Donald's sole caregiver while raising their four sons, Frankie (now 21); twins Anthony and Nicholas (now 20) and Joseph (now 16).Money was tight because neither Donald nor Kathy could work during his illness. She also felt very lonely especially after his passing. As Kathy continued to grieve her family's loss, she began to realize that she needed to find a sense of of normalcy for herself and her children. She was worried about her health (she was pre-diabetic) and the implications that had on her responsibilities as the sole parent to her children. Kathy turned to the Y in August of 2014 and she and her family became members through the Single Parent Scholarship Program funded through the Y's Annual Campaign. Through hard work and perseverance, Kathy lost 55 pounds, and had an overall improvement in her health. As a result, she became eligible for gastric sleeve surgery.
Jacob Kohner is a 16-year old sophomore at Roxbury High School. Like many high school sophomores, Jacob is involved with many school clubs and activities and he works hard to excel academically. Jacob also has Cerebral Palsy, a group of neurological disorders that affect a person ’s balance, movement, and muscle tone. Diagnosed at one year old, he has been confined to a wheelchair for most of his life.
Over the years, Jacob has worked with several physical therapists that concentrate on patients with special needs. Physical therapists focused on range of motion and functional movements. Once he started high school and became involved with academics and clubs, therapy sessions and travel time to and from appointments became a challenge.
Jacob and his family were committed to improving his strength and muscle control and came to the Randolph YMCA. They met Mina Rofael, who is a personal trainer and the Health & Wellness Coordinator at the Y.
Mina was interested in training with special needs members, and he and Jacob started their journey together. “Training people in wheelchairs is much different than training people with full mobility,” said Mina, adding, “Their muscles and limbs tend to be stiff and smaller than usual and may not grow as quickly or lengthen as much.”
Jacob has been training with Mina twice a week to strengthen his muscles. As Mina learns more about Jacob’s abilities, he is able to challenge Jacob with more strenuous exercises. Jacob’s mother, Jill, said that most people see a wheelchair first, not the young man sitting in it. People automatically judge his abilities because of his wheelchair.
“Since he has been coming to the Y, Jacob’s self-confidence has grown,” she said. “He is working out just like any other 16-year-old, proving that he should not be prejudged."