Child Holding up a Thank You Card

First Friday Message


I have a birthday coming up over the next few days, and my daughter, the ever-so-blunt inspiration of so much of what I share in these messages, came through with yet another piercing dose of truth:           

Daddy, it takes forever for me to turn another year older, but you get older quick!”

Gotta love the total lack of filter from a nine-year-old.

I proudly tripped over the half-century mark a little while ago, and I have to admit, my daughter is right. The years do seem to be speeding up a bit and there appear to be more reminders now of the passage of time. The first of which was the mailing we all initially run from – the “invitation” to join the AARP. Uuugh! What a gut punch. Like most of my friends who all celebrated the BIG 5-0 around the same time, we all made magnanimous claims about evading the call to AARP membership. Some even held out for a full year…now we all share how and where we use the discounts.

Recently, I’ve started receiving information about 55+ housing plans, unending streams of term life insurance plans, and, most recently, a call from my alma mater’s Planned Giving office inviting me for coffee. The latter was a call I was proud to receive as I cherish all things about my undergraduate experience, but I wasn’t quite ready for THAT call…not just yet.

I have to admit, though, the Planned Giving call got me thinking about the power of legacy-about what it means to ensure that a worthwhile body of work survives the test of time. This is a conversation we’ve been having quite a bit in our Y lately.

For years, our Y has benefitted greatly from the leadership of a dedicated nucleus of volunteer leaders. To a person, each is and has been a giant in the community in their professional and volunteer endeavors, and without them, our Y would be a lesser entity. In getting to know these giants, they’ve all shared a similar theme with me: it’s time for the next generation of leaders to stand up and lean in.

In response to their call, I’ve seen our next-generation volunteers step up, without pause, to the challenges that will define our Y in this next phase of recovery. We have to determine where we can be most impactful to the community; we must evolve and improve our services to meet the changing needs of Central Florida residents; and we will remain committed to ensuring that the Y must be for ALL.

Over the next 12 months, you will hear more from our Y about how you can help to ensure that the Y remains a powerful force for the well-being of our community. I’m sure that we will have no shortage of members, program participants, and other friends who will also heed the call to preserve the legacy of the Y.

Until next time...

Kevin Bolding, President & CEO
YMCA of Central Florida

The Y. For a better us.®