Greg Kalian has been a YMCA member for 50 years. He first joined the Y in Providence, RI as a youth. He grew up with the Y, participating in after-school programs, weekend youth activities as well as summer camps and the Junior Leaders program. As he grew older, Greg started to lead the same youth programs he had participated in when he was younger. He credits the YMCA with helping him have a safe, fun, engaging place to grow up.
Greg continued his YMCA membership throughout his life and joined the Walnut Creek Y over four years ago when he relocated to the Des Moines area. He has always had a high regard for the Y and values the organization’s programming for all age groups. Greg enjoys the family atmosphere of Walnut Creek and likes attending yoga classes and using the weight room. Greg’s daughter and four grandchildren are also members of the Y; he enjoys seeing his granddaughters participate in programs like tumbling and swimming lessons.
Greg feels a connection to the Y because of the community it provided him as a youth and likes the fact that the Des Moines YMCAs are continuing the strong Y tradition of helping families stay connected and healthy. He misses the days when children and teens could spend entire weekend days at the Y, which he feels provided structure and safety for those children and families who might lack such a space in their after-school and weekend lives.
Thanks for sharing your story, Grey. You’re a fantastic example of a Y member who is committed and connected to the mission of the Y!