Annual Meeting celebrates a successful 2017

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Photo above: New YMCA Board members with Board Chair Jennifer Tuckwiller. (l tor): Andy Thacker, N’kia Campbell, Jennifer Tuckwiller, Chris Bowman. Not Pictured: Taylor Malphrus.

On Thursday, February 15, 2018 the Wardle Family YMCA welcomed members and guests to their Annual Meeting, which recognized volunteers, donors and staff who helped advance the Y’s cause to strengthen the foundation of our community. 

The Y celebrated the positive impact made through Y programs and services as $350,000 in scholarship funds were raised and distributed in 2017.  This assistance helped thousands of youth and families through YMCA membership, sports, summer camps, childcare, preschool, youth boating and swimming lessons. The annual Boots & Bling Fundraiser and Silent Auction raised over $48,000 for the annual Y capital campaign.

The meeting was presided over by incoming YMCA Board Chair, Jennifer Tuckwiller, and Y CEO, Michael Bostwick. The Y celebrated the many programs, services and opportunities they provide and, most importantly, gave thanks to the volunteers that truly bring magic to the non-profit.  

The Y welcomed four new board members: Dr. N’kia Campbell, Director of Academic Initiatives for Beaufort County School District; retired educator Andy Thacker, State Farm insurance agent Taylor Malphrus; Chris Bowman, branch manager at South State Bank. Outgoing board members, Dr. Gregory McCord and Cheryl Comes were thanked for their many years of service to the Y. Also, Bostwick recognized past board member Peter Post, who was inducted into the National YMCA Hall of Fame.

Kaylin Garst, Y Branch Executive Director of the Wardle Family YMCA reported on the improvements and changes made at the Wardle Family YMCA during 2017. These included refinishing the basketball gym floor, new pool heater and filter, new membership software, a new bus for childcare and implementation of a stoplight report for Y staff and members. YMCA senior-specific programming was highlighted by Wellness Director Denice Fanning, and Y member and volunteer Larry Schaefer reported via video on Togetherhood, the Y member-driven service committee.

During the Annual Meeting, two volunteers received special recognition for their service to the Y. Larry Schaefer received the 2017 Robert V. Wardle Service to Youth Award.  This award is given in honor of Robert V. Wardle, whose donations were significant in the founding and continued operation of the Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry. Larry Schaefer has been the Togetherhood committee chair for the past 2 years and has been instrumental in leading this volunteer group in projects ranging from the Postal Carriers Food Drive benefiting HELP of Beaufort to building custom flower boxes for the Senior Center on St. Helena Island to building and installing a little lending library for the Y. In 2017 their volunteer hours exceeded 500 hours and included a fundraiser for the Y, raising $500 for our Learn to Swim Program. 

Bethany Byrne was named the annual Youth Sports Volunteer Coach for 2017. Ms. Byrne has been a volunteer aquatics coach over the past several years volunteering her time to assist with the BYAC Tiger Sharks Swim Team and aquatics department.

Tuckwiller also reviewed the YMCA association name change to Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry, which better communicates the Y’s original charter to serve both Beaufort and Jasper counties. She also announced that the YMCA now offers nationwide membership, which allows any active Y member to visit any participating Y in the USA, free of charge.

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