When I was a child in the '80s, Perry Hall's closest YMCA was atop the hill on Lillian Holt Drive. Where the Maryland Transportation Authority now parks its trucks and keeps supplies, there was once a large outdoor pool with diving boards, a concession stand and tennis courts.
I have many great memories of spending the summer at that pool with friends and taking swimming lessons. I also remember signing up to take tennis lessons one summer. I got my own tennis racquet and new shoes. I was all ready! Then my mother was notified that not enough kids had signed up and the class would need to be cancelled. That ended my chances of becoming a professional tennis player—well, that, and the fact that I am completely uncoordinated.
That location closed several years later which was a sad day for the community. Happily, the Y (officially dropping the "MCA" part) opened a new Health and Wellness Center in the former location of the Shopper's Grocery Store on Ebenezer Road in May 2009. This center provides fitness equipment, classes and programs for adults, teens and kids. Once you become a member of the Y, you have access to all 11 Family Center Ys in Central Maryland. This gives the community opportunities to use pools, take classes, send kids to camp, enjoy after-school programs and much more.
With so much to offer the community, the Y needs volunteers to give back as well. According to Misti Myers, Perry Hall Family Center Director, "Volunteers are critical in assisting the Y of Central Maryland achieve its mission as a charitable organization, dedicated to developing the full potential of every individual through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body."
A volunteer can be as young as 11 years old, with commitment ranging from a one-time special event to live-long programming support. As a volunteer, you could help shape the life of a future artist, doctor or even a budding tennis pro.
The Y of Central Maryland is always looking for volunteers and interns to assist with:
- Program Support
- Special Events
To find more volunteer opportunities at a local Y of Central Maryland Family Center near you, visit www.ymaryland.org.