Dr. Harvey Allen recalls his parents taking him to the Patterson Avenue Y. Some of his earliest memories of the Y are in its swimming pool. “I learned to swim at the Y when I was young,” he recalls. “I also went to the Y after school. The people there were always helpful and ready to encourage you. Mo Lucas was there, helping kids keep on the straight and narrow. Whenever I’d go there, it would feel like family.”
When Dr. Allen was older, he returned to the Y as a counselor at Camp Civitan. Not only did he develop leadership skills, but he mentored younger children. “I loved playing with the younger kids and giving them direction, providing them with a positive outlook,” he says.
Now with his own family, Dr. Allen is still strongly connected to the Y. “We are members at the Winston Lake Family YMCA and we all enjoy it,” he says. “My two children swim there and my wife does the different aerobics classes. It still feels like family.”
Dr. Allen volunteered for the Y and was elected to the national board of the YMCA of the USA, on which he served for two years. He was also involved in the Y’s international partnership program. Most recently, Dr. Allen and his wife decided to join the YMCA’s Heritage Club. “We see the importance for all Ys to have a good foundation for specific projects, needs, discretionary or emergency funds so they can have long-term stability,” he explains. “My family involvement with the Y goes back to my grandfather who went to the Spruce Street Y in the 30’s. The Y has been around a long time and has an excellent record. It’s a strong Christian organization and its work is unparalleled with helping people. We’re honored to be part of its long-term stability.”