by Lyne Aurand
All aboard! Getting on board with the YWCA of Gettysburg and Adams County’s Board of Directors has truly been fulfilling and heartwarming. I have been a YWCA Board member for five years. It has been one of my most rewarding experiences and ranks nearly as high as being an elementary teacher for 40 years. Reading to the children in the childcare program, watching seniors dance and laugh in fitness classes, observing the pickleball players having fun, listening to the encouraging words from swim teachers, and much more have filled my mind with wonderful heartfelt memories.
Every woman in the community should consider serving on a YWCA Board of Directors. While supporting the YWCA mission is the focus of our local Board of Directors, there are many benefits to being a director. There is the opportunity to meet a diverse group of women. Some were born in Adams County, other states, and other countries. Some are educators, health workers, financiers, entrepreneurs, etc. These women are all passionate about the mission, “The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.” All possess a desire to advocate for positive change for others and provide programs that the community needs.
While working together on goals for the organization to be successful, a bond develops among the Board of Directors. This team of directors has an opportunity to help lead our unique local YWCA. Our YWCA of Gettysburg and Adams County focuses on mission and advocacy. However, as a Board, you immediately recognize how special we are in offering the community other programs for all ages: aquatics, fitness, and childcare.
As a Board of Director, you will serve single women and families with a much-needed childcare and summer camp program, seniors working on being healthy by providing yoga, Zumba, many other exercise classes, and the use of new exercise equipment. You will help ensure community members can access courts to play basketball, pickleball, corn hole, and racket ball games. You will be part of providing the community with the only indoor swimming pool in the area where all ages can learn a life skill, swimming. You will participate in advocacy for people in Adams County that need support. Some past and present advocacy events are the Heritage Festival, MLK Day, Pride Day, Juneteenth Parade, Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, Get Out The Vote, and many more.
Some ways you will be able to help the organization will be to commit to the mission. Time attending a monthly Board of Director meeting will be well spent during your three-year term. On behalf of the YWCA’s local donors and sponsors, you will feel gratified by ensuring their funds are available for programs needed by the community. You will enjoy raising funds through events like Dancing with the Stars, the Tennis Tournament, or maybe a Corporate or Family Olympics.
The present “phenomenal” YWCA Board of Directors are Angela Borger, Maria Erhling, Ana Sanchez-Gerhart, Julie Haller, Kara Boehne-Miele, Judy Morely, Smitha Nair, Linda Raymond, Kathleen Sibley, Cara Smith, and Liz Strauss. At our July Board of Directors meeting, we are excited to welcome our new Board of Directors. This group of women brings much career expertise and experience to the YWCA Board, as well as a passionate willingness to serve the mission and take action: Camery Brown, Susan Cole, Beth Kanagy, Emily Knowles-Kellett, Dakota McBride, and Carrie Soliday.
Consider your skills, experiences, and passions, and if they match the YWCA’s mission and programs, consider the service of a Board of Directors. If you are a woman interested in being part of a group of phenomenal Board of Directors, contact a YWCA Board of Directors or the CEO and let them know of your interest. I know you will find the experience as rewarding as mine. “As we serve others, we are working on ourselves; every act, every word, every gesture of genuine compassion naturally nourishes our own hearts as well.” (Wayne Muller)
Lyne Aurand currently serves as President of the Board of Directors, YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County.