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As the YMCA of South Palm Beach County approaches its 50th anniversary in 2022, the nonprofit organization recently had its “History Remembered” event at The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum in Boca Raton.
With guest speakers from the past and present, the reception was highlighted by memories shared by long-time YMCA supporters, former board members and others in the community.
The event, which was hosted by former YMCA of South Palm Beach County President and CEO Dick Pollock and current President and CEO Jason Hagensick, guided the evening along with stories about the YMCA throughout the decades.
“The idea was to bring together some of our founding chief volunteer officers and the supporters of the beginning of our ‘Y’ over the last five decades for an evening of storytelling,” said Kimberly Trombly-Burmeister, the development director of the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. “It was like an evening where we were in your living although we were in The Wick Theatre.
“We told stories over the last 50 years, and the way I designed it is I had organized like five different vignettes where I had rebuilt the milestone moments in each of the decades,” she said. “So, we had newspaper clips. We had artifacts. Then, what I did is invited, through those people that were going to be in attendance, some of those key people to speak in each of the vignette areas and kind of lead us through the 50-year history.”
Some of the guest speakers included Dick Simmons, who after 35 years was able to publicly thank Lin Hurley for helping establish the special needs program at the YMCA in the 1980s. Carol Seewald, the first female CEO of the YMCA of Boca Raton, was also in attendance as she shared memories from her tenure in the 1980s.
Although unable to attend the event, Peter Blum, one of the Boca YMCA’s founding members, shared his memories of the organization and sang a YMCA camp song through a video message.
Serving as a community anchor in Palm Beach County, the YMCA of South Palm Beach County comprises the Peter Blum Family YMCA of Boca Raton, DeVos-Blum Family YMCA of Boynton Beach, The Lab: YMCA Leadership Academy and the YMCA 901 NCCI.