GUEST COMMENTARY: Help Hammond YMCA further shape lives

For many working behind the scenes to make the transformation of the Hammond YMCA a reality, the Y’s mission-focused, cause-driven culture is not just an empty motto. Rather, it fuels their passion to bring the $3 million expansion and renovation project to the community. One could argue that leading the Hammond Y into the future is something Executive Director David Mays was born to do. His connection with the nonprofit association started while he was in the womb when his parents attended birthing classes here. His first memory of the Y was when he took part in a youth basketball program. Mays started his career at the Y as a lifeguard and swim instructor in high school, working his way up the ranks. “The Y is not just a job for me,” Mays said. “It’s part of my life and my family’s life.” He now coaches his 4-year-old son Mason at the Y and watches him in swim lessons. It is this full circle relationship with the Y that informs his decisions. “I get to see everything from both angles. As a staff member, I see the impact we can have in people’s lives. As a Y member, I can see what it does for families and how my own family has grown and benefited from being here,” Mays said. Tom McDermott Sr., honorary capital campaign chair, recalled how the Hammond YMCA helped bring his own family closer together when his children were young as they participated in youth sports,… [Read full story]

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