West Cook YMCA

May 2017 CEO Message

CEO Message for May - In memory of Art Holland, WCY Past CEO

Published 05.08.17 10:00 am

Phillip's Message

On April 11, the YMCA movement in the United States lost one of its heroes - Arthur Holland, who was CEO of the West Cook YMCA for 20 years. Many members will remember Art and his selfless dedication to his community and our Y membership.


Art spent his entire career with the YMCA, first at the West Cook YMCA formerly known as the Oak Park YMCA, and then he served at the Northwest Suburban YMCA, followed by serving for twelve years with YMCA of the Metropolitan Chicago before returning back to the West Cook YMCA.  In addition to his passion for health education and wellness, Art was an avid pilot, a man of deep faith and a person who placed service to others above his own desires.


Shortly after I joined the West Cook YMCA as CEO three years ago, Art was one of the first people to call me, both to extend congratulations and to offer to share his vast knowledge when needed. That exemplified his spirit of collaboration -- always willing to give of himself for the betterment of others.


Art's wife, Joan, and his daughter, Becky, graciously shared Art with the West Cook Y for those 20 years. I extend to them both my deep sympathy as well as my heartfelt gratitude that they made it possible for Art to invest his time at the Y to make it as strong a part of the community as it is today. Joan and Becky gave much to the West Cook Y by being the "wind beneath the wings" of Art, a sacrifice I don't take lightly.


Art's influence remains at the Y, and many of our programs and philosophies reflect his passion for helping people be their best selves. Art helped bring out the best in me, as I know he did for many others who were influenced by his life of service and the joy he brought to everything he did.


Rest in peace, Art. Thank you for always reflecting the passion for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility that we at the West Cook Y remain committed to today.


Phillip Jiménez
President & CEO



Over the next six weeks, the West Cook YMCA will be undergoing some building improvements.


Please note that this week, Tuesday through Thursday (May 9-11), we will be working to unload our old HVAC system and loading our new HVAC system on the roof. A crane will be blocking our driveway and we are asking members to use the alleyway to enter our parking lot. Thank you for your understanding as we work to improve the air conditioning for the facility. Please be on the lookout for updates over the next six weeks for interruptions within the facility. We appreciate your understanding as we work to improve your experience at the West Cook YMCA.


This month...

  • Gear up for our summer programs by checking out what's new in the Summer Program Guide. Parents, you'll especially want to check out our upgraded swim lessons - an even better way to help your child stay safe in and around water.
  • Pool passes go on sale on Monday, 5/15/17 for the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center. Be sure to get your pass so you can enjoy a summer of fun at the pool!
  • If you are dealing with or at risk of a chronic disease, talk to our registered dietician and chronic disease coordinator. Don't let your life be defined by a chronic disease; instead, let the Y help you live life fully by taking charge of your health. Contact our Chronic Disease Program Coordinator today at  jkraak@westcookymca.org.
  • When is the best time to prepare for a healthy aging process? Today! No matter how young or old you are, the actions you take now will influence your health and fitness in your senior years. If your workout needs a boost, talk to one of our certified personal trainers and learn how they can help you make changes today that will give you a happier, stronger and healthier tomorrow.
  • With longer days and perhaps more leisure time in the summer, it's a perfect season to check out the volunteer opportunities at the West Cook Y or available in the community through Togetherhood™. Live healthier and happier through volunteerism! Learn more on our website at www.westcookymca.org/volunteer.
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