Perhaps one of the last things a sensible person does on a rainy Sunday morning, when dark roast coffee and his beloved NY Times are rooting him firmly to his breakfast table, is get in the car, drive the twenty three miles from home to the Dancel Y in Ellicott City, and plow through an hour of Beth Harbinson’s rocking Cardio Blast class.
Sensible isn’t an adjective that is often used to describe me, so that’s exactly what I did yesterday morning. Of course, I find myself in a Y most days, as a result of both my day job as well as my endless quest to stay in decent enough shape to keep up with my now eight year old twin daughters. I love driving all over Central Maryland to spend time with our over 3,100 associates who make amazing things happen for members of this great community literally every single day. And, if it means thanking Beth and her class of impressively energetic Dancel Y members for raising $1,285 for the Y’s 2017 Turkey Trot Charity 5K by plowing through sixty minutes of endless movement, then sign me up!
Beth, who has been teaching group exercise for the Y for the past sixteen years, is a force to be reckoned with, trust me! She is the embodiment of what makes the Y special, deeply committed to building community through healthy activity, a sharp sense of humor, an indomitable spirit, and endless creativity. She routinely turns her class into a fundraising engine, extolling her charges to keep moving while encouraging them to support our Send a Kid to Camp campaign and the Turkey Trot, gently cajoling as only she can. This past year, she told her class participants that she would get the Y’s CEO to come to their Sunday morning class if they hit a certain benchmark in their fundraising.
Well, you guessed it! They did so with ease. After some back and forth on schedules, Beth and I agreed that I would jump into her February 25th class, which starts at 9:10 am.
Well, I’m happy to report that I survived the class with minimal damage. It was actually a lot of fun, despite the impressive amount of sweating involved. As the only guy in the class, and certainly not the youngest either, I didn’t embarrass myself too badly.
It’s people like Beth who make my role here at the Y both fun and rewarding. Beth, whose day job is running the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Baltimore, knows a thing or two about fundraising and what makes organizations successful. In addition to her full-time job, and her side job (or really, her passion) teaching group exercise at the Dancel Y, Beth also serves as an “at-large” member of our board Governance and Nominating Committee. She’s been a wonderful contributor to that committee, offering a multi-dimensional perspective, as the executive director of an important not-for-profit organization, as a Y associate, as a Howard County resident, and as an all-around smart and insightful person. If there’s anything Beth isn’t capable of doing, I haven’t uncovered it!
So, thanks Beth for your commitment to your community, to those who need the Y’s help, and for getting my sorry you-know-what to your great Cardio Blast class yesterday morning. Your spirit is infectious!!
All the best,
P.S. Thanks also to Megan Jones, for designing our new Monday Mission Update graphic. If you haven’t noticed, talent courses throughout our organization!
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland