“One Thing Leads to Another”…it’s a phrase, a song, and also the best way to describe Donna Lukshides’ story with the Y. What began as a simple membership to take advantage of the Silver Sneakers program, how now led Donna to her fifth year as a member, advocate, and volunteer of the Y.
Although she had been involved with the Y as a child for swimming lessons, she was unfamiliar with everything the Y had to offer. After joining, she was encouraged to try one of the AOA (Active Older Adult) classes and she loved it. Donna shared, “Alicia is an excellent instructor, from her background to her skills and education; she makes everything so much fun.”
Participating in the classes sparked her interest in the AOA programs. Soon thereafter, she joined the AOA Committee, and began planning AOA events and other activities. Shortly after, she applied for the LIVESTRONG program at the YMCA, which was of extreme personal interest to Donna as she is a cancer survivor and has been cancer free since 2001!
Donna has also been involved with the Annual Campaign for several years, and never hesitates to educate people about the Y and ask for donations. “People are surprised to hear that we’re a nonprofit. The moment you start talking about the programs, LIVESTRONG Cancer Wellness, financial assistance, subsidized memberships, etc., they listen,” Donna says.
As a volunteer, Donna wants to promote all of the great aspects of the Y that she was unaware of before joining: the feeling of the Y community, a place for everyone to enjoy themselves, and the excellent programs and classes that are offered. Donna spends her days and evenings laughing, learning, and volunteering at the Indian Valley branch not because it happens to be close to her home, but close to her heart. She hopes that every person can find a reason to call the Y home too. One of the many things we can learn from Donna is to not be afraid to talk to people and be an advocate about something we are passionate about!