Archive for February, 2010

February Update

It’s hard to believe this month is almost over already! The busy spring and summer season  is fast approaching and we are  trying to tie up loose ends for upcoming conference group agendas and staffing. Here is a brief rundown of what has been going on in the past few weeks at Blue Ridge:

February is American Heart Month! As part of Blue Ridge Assembly’s new Wellness Program, each month we will focus awareness on one health related issue, ranging from diet and exercise to overall balance and mental well-being. (After all, it is important to remember that health and fitness are core principles to the YMCA!)   This week Nurse Nancy provided staff with free blood pressure screenings and healthy heart information in the BRC Lobby.


Last Saturday, February 20th, the Blue Ridge Staff Alumni Association met at Blue Ridge to make plans for the Annual Staff Alumni Reunion Weekend to be held July 9-11, 2010. For more information on upcoming Alumni activities please contact Staff Development Director Elaine Godfrey at egodfrey@ymcabra.org.


Congratulations to former staff member Chris Melton who graduated from Navy Basic Training last week! In his final letter from the Training Center in Chicago, Chris writes:

“I can’t believe it’s almost been two months now since I’ve been home. It seems like yesterday I was sitting on the front porch of Lee Hall looking out at that beautiful view!… It’s different living day to day with no TV, radio, cell phone, music, internet, NOTHING, but it really makes you think and realize how unimportant those things can be. I’ve come to realize that the most important thing in life is the people around you, your family, co-workers, and in my case my shipmates.”

Well said, Chris! Officer Melton is now in Pensacola, Florida to further his training in Navy Computer Intelligence. We are all so proud of him!


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January Update

On Thursday, January 29,  Blue Ridge staff organized a Retirement Party in the BRC Lobby to honor Maintenance staff member Chris Roberts, who has officially resigned from YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly after 20.5 years of work. Since coming to Blue Ridge in the summer of 1989,  Chris received his C Surface Water Certification and C Well Certification, and became responsible for all of the indoor and outdoor plumbing, drinking water systems, and overall water quality of Blue Ridge. He took care of everything from broken water pipes to malfunctioning sprinkler systems (with most of us never realizing there was even a problem in the first place). Even more remarkable, during the 20 years that Chris has had the above mentioned responsibilities, Blue Ridge has never failed a water test.  We are eternally grateful for Chris’s quiet dedication and service to Blue Ridge.  He will be greatly missed!

Ed Colley (Maintenance Director) and Chris Roberts

Best of luck to Chris in his future endeavors!


This week we began training with our new reservations system. Lesley Walker, the IT specialist for Kinetic Solutions, has been extremely helpful (and patient) in walking us through everything. The software will be a significant upgrade; much more complex and intelligent than our old system. It will take several months to adjust to the new system and possibly even longer to fully integrate it into our business processes. There are many details that are still being worked out, but it will definitely be much more efficient for the long-term operation of our Marketing and Guest Services departments. A big THANK YOU to Lesley, along with our own Debi Smith (Guest Services Director) and Richard Sentelle (IT Coordinator) for helping  to make this transition smooth for all of us.


In other news, our most recent letter from Chris Melton came this week. He writes:

“This week will be the most important week of boot camp, so please keep me in your thoughts. I have recently been assigned the task of carrying one of the divisional flags we have been awarded, the Scholastic Flag. It’s a lot of pressure but I’m doing pretty well…

Ps: Please write! I really enjoy recieving your cards and letters. Letters is all I get from the outside world, it’s what we look forward to every day, so please write! Thank you all so much!”

Chris (a former Conference Services staff member who is currently enrolled in Navy training) unfortunately also mentioned that he will not be able to come home until the summer. After his  graduation on February 12th he must report to Florida for 20 weeks for additional training in his career field. Once again, we wish Chris the best of luck! He is in our thoughts and we look forward to the next correspondence.

(Note: If you are interested in sending Chris a letter or package, please see the previous blog post for the address where he is currently stationed in Illinois.)


We are still continuing to clean up the remnants of the snow and ice damage from the winter storms in December.  The structural damage to the Eureka Store & Snack Shop is still waiting to be repaired and reconstructed and the area remains secure and sectioned off. We are in the process of consulting the major summer groups that use this building in order to determine how we can renovate this part of Lee Hall to better serve them.

Lee Hall damage

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