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Spirit ignited

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Red and Black Ball inspires generosity

By Carol A. Clark

The Family YMCA has maintained a tradition since its inception 55 years ago — no one is ever turned away for inability to pay. The generosity of patrons attending Saturday night’s Red and Black Ball ensures that will be the case for another year.

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The annual event, held at Central Avenue Grill raised $56,600 between sponsorship, the auction and other gifts.

“Our Strong Kids Campaign goal is $100,000, so we are off to a terrific start. Our goal for the evening was $50,000 so everyone on our campaign leadership team is thrilled,” Executive Director Linda Daly said. “Having a successful campaign is critical to the Y as funds raised help support our scholarship fund — it is our policy that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. The funds also help our youth programs here and in Española and our Española Teen Center.”

Daly expressed gratitude to County Council Vice Chair Sharon Stover and longtime Y advocate Emily McGay, who helped plan the evening and led the Chairman’s Round Table and Benefactors of Youth giving campaign.  

“I want to also thank Katie Rosenbaum and Shay Kendricks who organized our auction. It’s a lot of work,” Daly said. “I know it’s a labor of love, too.”

A highlight of the evening was the auction of a shiny red Honda Helix scooter donated by Alice Waterman. It belonged to her and her husband Bob. They were able to enjoy it for just a short time before Bob became ill and passed away. All three of the

Watermans’ sons attended the ball to show support as their mother donated the scooter. The sons, Ted, Roger and Kent comprise TRK Management. Roger has been a longtime YMCA board member.

A bidding dual erupted between School Board President Joan Ahlers’ husband Gary and Roger Waterman’s wife Emily McGay. McGay won with a $3,000 bid, saying she really wanted to have the scooter remain in the family.

“My father was such a fan of the Y and my mom being 91 isn’t going to ride the scooter anymore so she wanted it to benefit the Y,” Roger said. “Dad was 15 of 16 kids and he always told us there were only two places he could go for free as a kid and that was the Y and church and the Y was more fun.”

Los Alamos National Laboratory Principal Associate Director Terry Wallace and his wife attended Saturday’s ball, as well.

“The YMCA is so important to the town. It provides not only recreation, but a great place for children to grow up,” Wallace said. “My wife and I are an example of people who go to the Y everyday. We’re fortunate to have some very dedicated people on the board who ensure the Y continues.”

Lou Santoro of Lou Santoro State Farm Insurance also is an enthusiastic Y supporter and member of the Chairman’s Round Table.

“When you invest in kids, you invest in our future. We are so fortunate to have such a quality Y and it’s because of all the exceptional people who work behind the scenes.”

Los Alamos National Bank and Los Alamos Medical Center also are longtime Chairman’s Round Table members.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to support the Y because they are such an integral part of this community. They see a need and they fill it and we are very proud to be associated with them,” LANB Senior Vice President Jill Cook said. “This annual event has grown into such a success that there’s a waiting list and it’s one more example of the Family YMCA’s leadership in our community.”

LAMC Public Affairs Director Wendy Hoffman said the hospital is a member of the Chairman’s Round Table because they support the Family YMCA’s mission of building strong kids and strong communities.

“We’ve sponsored many activities at the Y for many years and we’re thrilled to see so many people here supporting the Y tonight,” Hoffman said.

Central Avenue Grill provided a fine meal of lobster and prime rib prepared by chef Phil Kephart and his staff for the Red and Black Ball patrons.

The Family YMCA is located at1450 Iris St.