Published November 20, 2001 Volume 9, Number 11
"Steppin' Up for the 21st Century" is the five-year strategic plan of the YMCA of the East Bay, the blueprint for the future. Mike Berrigan is the executive director of the Tri-Valley branch, located in Livermore.
Berrigan believes so strongly in the YMCA that in January he quit his job as a software sales representative and took the helm of the Tri-valley branch. "My involvement with the local branch started five years ago participating in the Indian Princesses and Guides with my daughters, now 10 and 4, and my son, now 9. Then I was invited to join the board and got more involved." Berrigan, his wife Jennifer and children live in Pleasanton.
"Steppin' Up for the 21st Century" lays out the YMCA's mission, vision and key organizational values. One overarching goal is to promote harmonious relations between the diverse members of the local branches.
Berrigan said that there are four strategic plan initiatives: quality and affordable child care, greater cultural harmony, improved health and wellness for all, and access to quality, structured, enrichment opportunities for teens.
The Tri-Valley YMCA sponsors child-care at three Pleasanton schools, Mohr, Lydiksen and Fairlands. "We offer on-site before-school and after-school care for any child who attends those schools. Our long-term goal is to also have a freestanding pre-school child care site, with a drop-in program. Berrigan said that he is also working on a drop-in child-care program for middle schoolers.
"Cultural harmony is infused with everything we do. Diversity is part of our culture here in the Bay Area and we welcome it with open arms. For instance, when we have camps, we have exposure to cultures other than our own as part of our criteria for outings. We had the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day prayer breakfast at the Pleasanton Hilton this past February with about 250 people. It was a wonderful event and we'll do it again next year. "
One of the objectives of the goal of structured enrichment for teens is the construction of a teen center in the Tri-Valley. Right now, the Y has an extensive Saturday sports program that attracts hundreds of elementary and middle school students.
Health and wellness are important components of the Steppin' Up plan. "It's everything involved with the well being of body, mind and spirit. At our March Health Kids Day, we promote the president's health and fitness plan goals, nutrition, even good skin care for those at child care sites." The plan's objective is to deliver health and wellness programs to Tri-Valley children and adults.
"We take the word recreation very seriously. We don't keep track of school winners or of any stats. Everybody plays-it is co-ed-and has fun. At the child care sites, we have a specialist who goes from site to site and just does sports with kids. In the summer we have sports specialty camps for soccer, skateboarding, windsurfing and hiking." The emphasis continues to be on fun, friendship and respect.
The YMCA of the East Bay recently honored Pleasanton resident Dave Melander with a Hall of Achievement for a Lifetime of Service Award for his outstanding contributions to the Y.
The Tri-Valley YMCA welcomes business and community support through volunteering, financial contributions, and business partner support projects. "We're also looking for a parcel of land for a permanent building. Any help or ideas are very much appreciated," Berrigan said.
The Tri-Valley YMCA is located at 4047 First Street, Suite 207, Livermore. The phone number is (925) 456-9125. Visit www.trivalleyymca.org .
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