Archive for March, 2010

On Thursday, March 18 Blue Ridge hosted a Tribute Dinner for C. Roger Hibbard, celebrating his recent retirement and legacy of service to YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly.

C. Roger Hibbard came to Blue Ridge in May of 1976. He was the Administration Director for 9 years, and then Executive Director for 24 years. Throughout his 33 years at Blue Ridge, Roger was able to maintain Dr. Weatherford’s vision and important founding principles. He touched hundreds of people’s lives both personally and professionally.

The evening’s Celebration was appropriately called “Sunset on the Mountain”, and included a reception and dinner. There were over 250 guests in attendance, including Roger’s family and friends, YMCA executives, as well as past and current Blue Ridge staff. The event coincided with the Annual Board of Directors Meeting, so many board members were also present.

The Reception, held in the Blue Ridge Center lobby, began at 5 pm and featured local jazz musicians, including our very own Conference Services staff member Ryan Lassiter.

The evening’s unique menu commemorated the 10 southeastern states which own YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly. The Grits Bar, one of the  highlights of the reception hour, featured made to order southern-style grits with cheese, shrimp, ham, bacon, peppers and onions  in a martini-style glass. Other hors d’oeuvres at the reception included North Carolina BBQ Sliders with Slaw, Mississippi Caviar (black eyed peas) and crackers, Virginia peanuts, and a refreshing, spritzy  Florida Citrus punch.

The dinner and program began at 6 pm in the Centennial Dining Room of the Blue Ridge Center. The buffet dinner also reflected the theme of Southern cuisine: Beef Tenderloin,  Cajun Roasted Chicken, Yellow Squash Casserole, Kentucky Green Beans, Alabama Fried Green Tomatoes, and a Melody of Corn, Tomato & Okra, Louisianne Muffalata Salad, Tennessee Cornbread, Biscuits, Sweet Tea, and assorted desert pies: South Carolina Peach, Georgia Pecan,  Mississippi Mud, and Florida Key Lime.

White table clothes, framed photos of Roger, and beautiful bouquets of calla lilies were set at each table. The pink, purple, and yellow bulbs will be planted at the Family Lodge III, which the Board of Directors unanimously decided to name the “Hibbard Hall”. As a thank you favor for attending the event, each guest received a complimentary magnet featuring the famous view of the beautiful Craggy Mountains as seen from the porch of Lee Hall.

A blessing for the meal was given by Dr. Tony Bell, executive minister of Central United Methodist Church in Asheville. Kurt Eckel, Roger’s successor, delivered opening remarks as we enjoyed our meal. Next, Paul Breazeale, President of the Board of Directors led the heartfelt tribute speeches to Roger. The first was delivered by Murphy Osborne, the Director of Camp Cheerio, where Roger worked for several years prior to coming to Blue Ridge. Mr. Osborne shared that Roger’s given Indian name was “Chief Guiding Arrow”, appropriately honoring Roger’s life work serving youth and touching lives.

Andy Calhoun, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, was a senior counselor at Camp Cheerio during Roger’s time as camp director. He presented Roger with a plaque of vintage postcards from Charlotte, commemorating Roger’s hometown. He also presented Roger with a plaque featuring an antique bowling pin from a YMCA facility in Charlotte, one of the first in the country to have a bowling alley.

Next, Joy Darby Gardberg, Food Service Director at Blue Ridge in the late 70’s and 80’s who helped plan the evening’s menu, thanked Roger for his generosity and spirit. Chris and Alison Hibbard, Roger’s children, delivered a tear-filled ode to their father, marked with a standing ovation. Lastly, Beth Snook, Event Planner and 2009 Blue Ridge Ambassador, presented Roger with a hand-made tile from the YMCA of Jerusalem, marking his efforts for YMCA international relations.

The parade of gifts continued when Paul Breazeale presented Roger with a brand new mountain bike from Epic Cycles, honoring his love for fitness and the outdoors. For her 33 years of service and support to both Blue Ridge and Roger, Rosalyn was presented a gift certificate to The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa.

The final, most valuable reward to Roger was announced by Gretchen Purser, Retirement Celebration Chair, who presented an engraved crystal bowl and the announcement that $50,000 in contributions were made the C. Roger & Rosalyn Hibbard Endowment Fund. Even more remarkable was that 100% of active staff donated.

The earnings from the Hibbard Endowment Fund will go to support YMCA and public school youth participating in Assembly program-led activities.  These gifts build long-range financial stability and ensure the future of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly while providing youth of all financial backgrounds with the opportunity to engage in life-impacting experiences at Blue Ridge.

Thank you to the following individuals who contributed to the Hibbard Endowment Fund*:


DeFriece, Frank and Nancy


Anderson, James
Breazeale, Paul and Voncile
Dillon, C. A. and Mildred
Eckel, Kurt and Peggy
Favrot, C. Allen
Field, Jack and Sharon
McCoy, Ted
McGrady, David and Katherine
Monteith, Max and Carmaleta
Purser, Craig and Gretchen
Stewart, Gary and Cheryl
Stringfellow, Kurt
Tyson, Joe and Carol
Walker, H. Webster III & family
Washburn, Scotty and Buena
Watts, Bill and Jan
YMCA of Greater Louisville


Bransby, Joe and Louise
Cude, Sherry
Downs, Hollis and Cathy
Duyck Construction Company
Gardberg, Jonathan and Joy
Johnson, Jerry and Yolanda
Kanuga An Episcopal Center
Kennedy, Ken and Nancy
McKee, Robert
Moore, Don and Rosie
Robertson, Angela
S&D Coffee Inc.
Smith, McFerrin and Rosemary
YMCA of Greater Charlotte
YMCA of Middle Tennessee


Avery, Ginger
Barnhardt, Bill
Bender, Jack and Lynne
Black Mountain Savings Bank
Black, Johnna Fox
Buckner, John and Peggy
Burnette, Robert B.
Calhoun, Andy and Joann
Canipe, Robert and Jennifer
Cowie, Jim
Craig, Bill and Janie
Crawford Sprinkler Company
Cude, Stan and Joan
Day, Phillip and Helen
Don and Hazel Wright
Dunn, David and Cherry
Ellison, Jack
Eskew, Robert and Iris
Ferguson, Harry and Linda
Fleming, Bill
Fugua, Don and Judy
Gordon, Mary H.
Haddas, Brent and Lilian
Hammond, Kevin and Tonya
Hargrove, Hayward and Nancy
Hazelton, Patricia Torrence
Headley, Robert

Helms, Mrs. Nolan D.

Hemphill, Mary

Hibbard, Chris and Holly
Hopkins, D. K.
Huffman, Mrs. William S.
Ingram, Jim and Geri
Jones, Jack and Jeanette
Jones,Tom and Bonnie
Kantonen, Bill and Jennifer
Kelly, Ken and Kitty
Kuhfahl, John and Jan
Logan, Chris and Melissa
Logan, Tommy and Ruth
Long, Scott
Lowder, John and Lynn
McClinton, Raymond and Sue
McKay, C. Douglas
Mease, Glenn and Sharon
Mitchell, Clarke and Jan
Mofford, Frank and Susan McKinnon
Morgan, Jamie
Morgan, Phillip and Martha
Murphy, Michael and Mary Alice
Neves, Ed
O’Leary, Martha A.
Parry, Betty
Patla Straus Robinson & Moore
Poss, Bobby and Luanne
Reiley, Chuck and Lucy
Rice, Lucian
Robinson, Barry and Susan
Rosenstein, Dr. Robert N.
Roy, Scott and April
Sanchez, Fransisco “Paco”
Schmidt, Clarence and Lucile
Sigmon, Tony
Smith, Frank and Jean
Smith, Harrison and Diane
Sneed, Mary P.
Spielman, Ross
Sprague, Peter
Stone & Christy, P. A.
Sturgeon, John
Tarver, Steve and Ann
Taylor, Barry
Thomas, Ronald B.
Thrailkill, Tom and Pat
Tom A. Finch Community YMCA
Torrence, Mary D.
Trammell, Charles
Turner, Don and Jeanne
Vest, Pat and Angie
Vest, Paul and Vicki
W4 Investments
Waldrop, Steve
Warren, LaMont and Linda
Weatherford, Anne C.
Welch, Bob and Sara
White, Theresa
White, William and Wanda
Williams, Angela
Woffindin, Sam and Ann Marie
Wolford, John and Rhonda
Woods, Jim and Joan
Wright, Doris
YMCA of Northeast Louisiana
Young, Ted and Charlene
Young, Terry and Lori


Abitt, Shelley
Ake, Matt
Baker, Vivian
Barnes, Noah
Bennett, Rose
Bestedt, Jerry and Tracy
Bingham, Shannon
Bonifay, Ken
Burnette, Van
Caudle, Woody
Christy, Bill and Deidre
Clark, Briana
Clarke, Mike and Amy
Climer, Bill
Cline, Angel
Coleman, Barry and Nancy
Colley, Ed and Jan
Cook, Dave
Crawford, Nona
Cullaty, Bob and Sherrie
Davis, Heaven-Leigh
Dayvault, Julie

Deem, Victoria

Derrick, J. Allen
Dicasolo, Phil and Susan
Edwards, Jeff
Eubank, Carol
Evans, Tamarcus
Fuhrmann, Glenda
Furr, Riley
Gibson, John and Ellen
Gleasure, Lyn
Godfrey, Elaine
Goldberg, Kathy
Granger, Kellie L. Schneider
Harvie, Mrs. Jack B.
Hassler, Shaun
Kelly, Tanner
Lassiter, Ryan
Linsley, Amanda
Lovejoy, Owen and Anita
Luther, Gerri
Martin, Elizabeth
May, J. D. and Amanda
McKinney, Andrew
Miller, Dana Michelle
Moses, Michael
Myers, Danielle
Myers, Meagan
Otterness, Christopher
Owens, Helen
Palmiter, James
Parks, Hannah R.
Pearcy, Susan
Penland, Christine
Petrie, Anita
Phillips, Bill and Joann
Pollard, Bill
Pollard, Sally
Pressley, Trevor
Queen, David
Ratliff, Erin
Rehnquist, George and Bonnie
Rhoden, Sally Brown
Roland, Pearl
Seijas, Natacha
Sentelle, Richard
Shearin, Dan
Silver, Travis
Smith, Debi
Smith, Wayne
Snook, Bethany
Spradling, Bonnie
Styles, Harriet
Sutphin, Jason
Tocaben, Danielle
Walker, H. Webster III
Wells, Mattie
White, Haley
Wilson, Sheila
Workman, Charlene

*These are the donors at press time as of Tuesday, March 23, 2010. If you would like to make additional contributions to the C. Roger & Rosalyn Hibbard Endowment Fund, contact Melissa Logan, Development Director, at 828.210.8459 or mblogan@ymcabra.org

Overall, C. Roger Hibbard’s Retirement Celebration was a huge success. “My heartfelt thanks to all for a wonderful evening”, said Roger after the event. You’re eternally welcome, Roger. Congratulations and best wishes! The Blue Ridge family will miss you, but near or far, you will always have a place on the mountain.


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Bon Voyage, Andrew!

The old saying in like a lion, out like a lamb has proved true for the month of March so far. We battled a small winter storm last week that brought about 4 inches of fresh snow. Thankfully by the weekend temperatures had warmed up  into the lower 60’s! The heatwave is a welcome change… We cannot wait for Spring!


March is “National Nutrition Month. Yesterday Nurse Nancy was able to discuss good nutrition habits, share informational literature, and even provided healthy snacks for the staff. The American Dietetic Association theme for this month is  “Nutrition From the Ground Up”, which stresses the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.  We learned about some great plant-based recipes to try, such as “Pumpkin Pancakes” and “Greek Chick-Pea Salad”. YUM!

Nurse Nancy, Bill, and Ed


This weekend we said “Bon Voyage!” (for now) to our Program Field Coordinator, Andrew McKinney. Andrew is the first of two lucky Blue Ridge staff members able to travel abroad under the sponsorship of our staff-exchange Ambassador Program. He will be living just outside of London, England and working at the Romford YMCA for the next month.

Before his departure we presented Andrew with a Brit-themed photo album filled with little comments of well wishes from the staff.  “I am looking forward to meeting new friends and making great memories!”, he said during his send-off party last week. It seems Andrew’s wishes have already come true…

Charlie from the Romford YMCA wrote to share that Andrew had arrived safely on Sunday: “I have met Andrew and would like to say that he is such a lovely person!  He seems to be settling in very well, and is already very popular with our other volunteers; I’m sure he will do brilliantly here.”

We think so too! Andrew has already started updating our blog with stories and pictures from his experiences abroad (read “Cheers, mate!” and “Pences and Pounds” below). We are all glued to the computer anxiously awaiting the next update. Keep them coming, Andrew! Best of luck and safe, happy travels. We miss you already!

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