Maribeth Taylor works along the Wilbur Wright Trail during a Togetherhood project.
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A Lifetime of Y Memories

Maribeth Taylor’s YMCA memories span most of her lifetime.

Christy Ragle
 (Contributing author)

Maribeth Taylor’s YMCA memories span most of her lifetime.She remembers going to swim lessons at the former YMCA building near downtown New Castle and going to exercise classes alongside her mom, Pat Burton. Nancy Pasman would lead the classes, and young Maribeth would do whatever her mom was doing. She also recalls gymnastics classes with Don Osborne.

Role Models For Wellness
After going away to college, she returned and picked up racquetball at the YMCA,which she still plays today. Her dad, Carl, was an avid racquetball player and shared his love of the sport with her. Her mom played racquetball into her 80s and would often play with Maribeth and Maribeth’s sons Robby and Evan.

“My parents were staunch supporters of the Y, and my mom was on the board,” Maribeth noted. “They were good role models for me and that inspired me to want to promote the Y for others.”

A Career Path
Maribeth studied to become a teacher, but when she graduated the job market was very difficult to break into for teachers. However, the YMCA had a job opening for a preschool teacher, so she served in this area for two years. It was near the end of these two years that she found her next adventure while in the YMCA pool with her preschoolers.

“It was parent observation day and one of the parents was the principal at Westwood Elementary,” she recalls. “I was in the pool while he was talking with me about an open Kindergarten teaching position at Westwood.”

This unusual encounter led to 34 years of joy as Maribeth taught decades of kindergarteners at Westwood. She now teaches Kindergarten at Building Blocks. With her current classes, she takes an annual field trip to learn about philanthropy and community service, and the YMCA is one of the stops on the trip.

Accomplishing Big Goals
The Y staff has helped Maribeth accomplish many of her wellness goals. While her sons were in high school, Maribeth set a goal to swim across a lake in Michigan. She loves swimming and swam many laps to prepare for this goal. She worked alongside a personal trainer who even went with her family to Michigan and swam alongside her in the lake as she accomplished this goal.

Continued Connections
Maribeth now serves on the YMCA Board of Directors and helps with Y-related community projects like the Togetherhood initiative to clean up the Wilbur Wright Trail on Earth Day. She also helped to lead the initiative to involve area elementary students to raise more than $14,000 for the current Y facility.She appreciates the many connections she has made through the Y.

“It’s a place where all ages can come together and learn to appreciate each other. Connections are important in our community,” she shared.“The Y allows so many people in the community to work toward wellness. It represents very positive things, including Christian values. It’s a very important part of what we need in our society.”

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