Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Struck twice by the same tree

Last week, I was struck as I entered the lobby of the Wood River YMCA. I noticed a Christmas tree sitting at the entrance of the building, decorated with ornaments. When I looked closer, I saw that each ornament represented a gift wish. Wishes included things like a new pair of sneakers, deodorant, an I-Tunes gift card and a new pair of pants (32X30).

I learned that the tree was placed there by the Advocates of the Wood River Valley in hopes of fulfilling Christmas wishes for the needy children in their program. How simple the gifts were and how heartening it was to see two organizations in our community, such as the Y and the Advocates, working together in the spirit of the holidays.

And then, yesterday, I was struck again. I strode by the Christmas tree in my usual rush to Richard Odom’s yoga class, and this time I noticed that more than half the ornaments were missing. Our Y members were quickly fulfilling these gift wishes. What could be better than this?

I was reminded again of why the Y is one of the great success stories of our town as it brings together so many elements of the community. It is more than a gym. It is a reflection of our care for one another. Opened just five years ago, it stands as a shining symbol of the generosity and potential of this great community.

I want to thank all those who picked an ornament from the Christmas tree this year, to the Y and the Advocates for creating a venue to bring cheer and make wishes come true, and especially to everyone who came together with their philanthropy and vision to make the Y possible in the first place.

Dan Turner


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