Local YMCA board member reports on Y General Assembly

Saturday, July 27, 2013

By Pearl Noreen
Board Vice Chair
Dale Turner YMCA

What an honor to be invited to the General Assembly of the YMCA in Philadelphia with Dale Turner Family YMCA Associate Executive Brian McLaughlin.

As a volunteer and Board Vice Chair it was an opportunity to hear the vision of the national YMCA with its 19 million members and 900 branches. Our own Dale Turner Family Y has 17,000 members. They rolled out their new slogan “The Y.so much more.” Their 5 year goal is to expand membership and branches in a bold way.

Their plan is to expand healthy living programs including diabetes and obesity prevention programs and so much more. They will enhance youth development programs with increased after school programs, early learning support, summer learning loss targets and graduation rate support and so much more. The Y’s commitment to social responsibility will be seen in partnering and networking in innovative and creative ways and so much more!

An array of speakers added insights:

Sanjay Gupta reminded of the obesity issues and suggested:

  • Sitting 6 hours a day shortens your life span.
  • Pushing your plate away when you are 80% full.
  • Eating too much sugar (200 grams a day) and fructose (130 pounds a year) is harmful to your health.

Kathy Dempsey shared the Shedding theory. The cornerstone of the shedding philosophy is based on the fact that lizards grow by shedding their skin. If they don’t shed, they die. The same is true with humans and organizations. If you don’t grow, you’ll die. Shed or you’re dead! Shedding involves taking on the new and letting go of the old.

Shawn Anchor spoke on ‘The Happiness Advantage” and revealed that social connections are the best predictor of long-term happiness. Writing down 3 gratitudes a day for a week changed neural patterns in the brain for 6 months plus people became more positive. Seventy-five percent of job success is attributed to strong social connections, optimism and perceptions that stress is a challenge. Happiness is a choice!

Sally Hogshead stated that:

  • Don’t find the light. You are the light.
  • The thing that makes you different may be the thing that distinguishes you.
  • Be yourself everyone else is taken.
  • The world is not changed by people who sort of care.

Outlier author Malcom Gladwell declared that the YMCA is the single most important capitalization engine in the country. Capitalization is the rate of people who fulfill their purpose in life. It tells us whether a society is successful. The US rates are quite low. But Gladstone says capitalization is the most important factor in the health of the country. It is how good a job we do with the talent we have. Our job is to help everyone find their gift.


The Y is an expert in capitalization -- helping people rise to their greatest potential ….. and so much more!


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