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Schmalenberger is YMCA Volunteer of the Year

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From left are Tom Carnevale, chief operating officer of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA; Volunteer of the Year honoree Carolyn Schmalenberger; Middlesex YMCA executive director Buzz Lambert; and Rob Shuford, chief volunteer and chairman of the board of directors of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

At the annual meeting of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA at the Hampton Coliseum Convention Center on Feb. 19, Carolyn Schmalenberger of Deltaville was named the Volunteer of the Year of the Middlesex Family YMCA.

In presenting the award, Danny Carroll, chief executive officer of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, described Schmalenberger as the “matriarch” of the Middlesex YMCA. 

Schmalenberger is now completing the last year of her second term as a member of the Middlesex YMCA Board of Management.

“This is indeed the truth, for if it had not been for Carolyn it is safe to say that there would be no YMCA in Middlesex,” said Mary Lib Hoinkes, chairman of the Middlesex YMCA Board of Managers. “She was the founding force behind the establishment of the Middlesex YMCA, and has been at the forefront of the management of the Middlesex YMCA ever since it opened its doors five years ago. 

YMCA Open House Planned
The Middlesex Family YMCA at Hartfield will host a day-long open house to celebrate five years of serving the Middlesex community on Friday, March 13. All YMCA and community residents are welcome to come and enjoy light refreshments and see how the YMCA has grown. A brief but special presentation by the YMCA Board of Management will be held at 4 p.m. in the main building.

“It was her dream, and as everyone who knows Carolyn knows, once Carolyn has a dream, everyone can actually believe that dreams can come true,” said Hoinkes. “Her enormous energy, her persuasiveness, her generosity of time and fortune, and her enthusiasm simply make things happen, and the Middlesex Family YMCA is the example par excellence of her effectiveness.”

Not only did Schmalenberger serve at the helm of the effort to bring a YMCA to Middlesex, but once it was actually established she served as the first chairman of its Board of Managers. 

“In those first years she worked tirelessly to spread the word about the YMCA and promote its mission throughout the county,” said Hoinkes. “Thanks to her work with the Board of Supervisors and community leaders, the YMCA was successful in securing a virtually rent-free 50-year lease for the property on which the YMCA is situated.”

Now that the YMCA can rest assured of a “home” for the next 50 years, Schmalenberger is serving as chairman of the Mission Development Committee, “working tirelessly (again) to ensure that funds are available to keep the YMCA ship shape,” said Hoinkes. 

“Carolyn’s dedication to the mission and spirit of the YMCA is an inspiration to all who know her and all who are involved in any way with the YMCA. As Danny Carroll said in presenting the award, she brings out the best in everyone with whom she is associated. All of us in Middlesex can be pleased that the greater community of the regional YMCA has recognized Carolyn’s amazing talent and dedication,” said Hoinkes. 

posted 03.04.2009

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