Chuck & Ellen Corwin 2013 Service to Youth Award Honorees
2013 Service to Youth Award Honorees
Runners navigating the icy streets during the Red Flannel Run. Climbing 135 steps to Chapel Point each Easter Week at Y Camp with old friends where they sing the old hymn “This is My Father’s World.”
These are just a few of the memories Chuck and Ellen Corwin have made through three decades of volunteering with the YMCA of Greater Des Moines.
The Corwins were Y multi-taskers before the term became a popular phrase. Their long-time involvement with the Y make the Urbandale couple an easy selection as the 2013 YMCA of Greater Des Moines’s Service to Youth Award recipients.
Chuck’s association with the Y began further back than three decades when he learned to swim as a child in the old Y building at 4th and Keo in downtown Des Moines. He fondly remembers his time with the Y swim team and the lifelong friends he made from that experience.
As a child, Chuck attended Y Camp but it wasn’t until the early ‘80s that he became a “permanent” member of the Y.
In the years that have followed; Chuck has been active in any number of Y volunteer activities including serving on the YMCA Healthy Living Center Board and leading the Heritage Club. The Heritage Club was a natural extension from his career in estate planning.
“Ellen and I have been continuously involved with the Y for over 30 years,” he said.
Ellen has been just as active as her husband. She has been on both the Riverfront YMCA Board (where she was involved with the Red Flannel Run for several years) and the Metro Board, where she helped update the Y’s strategic plan.
Volunteering for the Y was an easy choice for Ellen because of her “commitment to youth.”
“The Y offers such good programs for our youth,” she said “I also like the fact that we can reach out to those that need assistance.”
Raising money for the Y was always easy according to Chuck. During annual campaigns he remembers his first experience with the Y, and asks others to reflect on their first Y memories.
“You go into a room full of people and ask how many of them learned to swim at the Y?” he said. “It’s amazing how many hands go up and they want to make sure today’s children have the same experience as they did.”
Their Y experiences are ones that the Corwins are always happy to share.