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YMCA salutes community volunteers

April 22, 2004|By Dr. Gregory C. Yu, Chair, Board of Directors, Crescenta-Cañada YMCA

During National Volunteer Week, April 19-23, the YMCA recognizes the work of two volunteers, as well as the commitment of 600+.

"Volunteers are not paid - not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless."

I encountered that saying not long ago. There was no mention of the author, nor was there any further explanation. But as I pondered it, I realized quickly how true this quote is.

Now here we are today during National Volunteer Week and the quote applies so aptly to all the volunteers I work with at the YMCA. There truly is no way we could pay our volunteers for all they do. Their donation of time, resources and expertise is beyond price, beyond our reach, and cannot be sufficiently thanked.

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I am pleased to profile two of our very dedicated volunteers, and publicly acknowledge them for their outstanding loyalty.

If you come often to the YMCA for the pleasure of our swimming pool you may have noticed the name that adorns the window over the pool observation area, the Samuelson Aquatic Center.

Named for the generosity of the Samuelson family, I and countless other Y Board members are pleased to have Reid Samuelson carrying on the tradition of the Samuelson family that was originated by his father, Jack, and his uncle, Bob.

Reid Samuelson remembers coming to the Y as a young boy and participating in numerous adventures in the Y Indian Guides, a program now referred to as Y Tribes. When questioned about exactly when he started at the Y, he simply responds, "My whole life." One senses the memories he still carries with him about those times at the Y and the numerous amusements he participated in while enjoying Y Tribes, a program that remains popular today for the opportunity it provides for children and parents together to appreciate activities and adventures.

Even as a youngster, he remembers his dad, who was instrumental as a major leader in starting the Crescenta-Cañada Y, making "?me go around and get petitions signed that it was okay to have the Y there."

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