Member Profile: Joanna Kapner
Having a Stake in Your Community
I grew up in Queens but I moved to the Upper West Side when I got married in 1963. We joined the West Side Y as a family when my children were young. My daughters were in the gymnastics program, my youngest went to summer camp and both my daughters learned to swim at the pool.
Through our children, the Y became a connection for the whole family. I still have old photographs of my daughter on the gymnastic bars.
After some time away, I rejoined the Y and started swimming to relieve stress on my way home from work. For a long time, all I did was swim.
Now I have incorporated more cardio activity over the years to battle some injuries. Physical exercise and the support of the Y has helped to make me stronger.
Now I go to the Y two or three times a week to use the machines and once a week to swim. The Y is a very important part of my activity pattern. I build my week around going to the Y!
When you spend three days a week in the same place, you have a stake in it. I know the Y is a great institution — it offers all kinds of services for kids who might not otherwise get to have the opportunities that the Y provides.
I knew that these opportunities are made possible through donations, and so I made my first gift when I discovered that I was getting a senior rate which is less than the regular amount. I simply donated the difference. Since then I make annual donations.
I recently learned of another great way to make donations to the Y. I became an 1852 fellow last year, donating to the Y Endowment Fund which will support the West Side Y now and in the future. The Y holds a dear place in my hear t and I want to ensure families long into the future will benefit from the free programming and sense of community this great organization offers. I know membership dues don't cover the cost of all the Y gives away for free, and I can afford to do more.
The Y is an essential part of my life and keeps me active. I have been retired for a number of years, but I volunteer a lot now. Some of my volunteer work involves a certain level of physical activity, and if I didn't go to the Y, I wouldn't be able to do those things that matter so much to me.