It is hard to believe that the holiday season has nearly come and gone already. YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly has had one of the busiest Decembers on record, keeping our year-round staff on their toes and in high spirits! This month was full of excitement, merriment, retirements and engagements….
On the week after Thanksgiving, Blue Ridge kicked off the Christmas season with our annual Tree-Trimming Party. Staff and their families gathered in the Blue Ridge Center lobby for homemade baked goods, warm beverages, and fire-side fellowship. We decorated a majestic 13-foot Fraser fir, which was harvested locally and provides a visual reminder of the joyful holiday season and the remarkable beauty of the Assembly.
This years event was particularly special, as we were serenaded with live Christmas music from talented members of our Leadership team. We also received our first SNOW of the season, which provided the perfect festive backdrop to unite everyone in the holiday spirit!
After 21 years of service, Blue Ridge Assembly’s Maintenance Director, Ed Colley, recently announced his retirement. On December 1st we hosted Ed’s Retirement Celebration, paying tribute to his excellence of character, warm personality, outstanding work ethic, and legacy to Blue Ridge. The evening brought together Ed’s family, Blue Ridge staff, and Board members and included a Reception in the BRC Lobby, followed by a delicious banquet dinner in the Dining Room.
We are eternally grateful for Ed’s dedication to Blue Ridge, both personally and professionally. He touched hundreds of lives as he served his community, provided for his family, and managed the Assembly’s historic buildings, and 1,200 acre grounds. Congratulations and best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement, Ed! You will be greatly missed! Thank you for all that you have done.
We are pleased to announce Ed’s successor, Philip Day, will take over as Maintenance Director. Welcome aboard, Phil!
Earlier this month we also celebrated ChristmasFest, a longtime Blue Ridge tradition which was revived for the first time this year in over a decade. We were excited to welcome back an “active adult” group from the Jamerson Family YMCA in Lynchburg, VA for this years event. Guests enjoyed a 3 day program that embraced the childlike wonder of Christmas and included crafts, fireside storytelling, caroling, and mealtime entertainment. The group was also able to experience unique local attractions such as downtown Black Mountain, the Biltmore Estate Candlelight Christmas, and Grove Park Inn’s Gingerbread House display. And it wouldn’t be Christmas without GIFTS! Each day they were surprised with handmade ornaments, stockings, jingle bells, and other seasonal treats. What a fantastic way for our guests and staff to get in the holiday spirit!
This holiday season, already a joyous time of year, was particularly exciting for two Blue Ridge staff members who became engaged this month! We would like to congratulate our own Event Planner, Beth Snook, and Program Coordinator Andrew McKinney on their wonderful news and the announcement of a wedding next fall. We are so happy to be a part of their engagement and are looking forward to watching this beautiful young couple share a lifetime of love and happiness together.
Also check out engagement photos for another couple, Lucie and Ryan, who recently became engaged at Blue Ridge Assembly! It seems that LOVE is in the (mountain) air! 🙂
We would like to wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season! Warmest thoughts and best wishes as you celebrate joy, peace and goodwill with friends and family. Thank you for a wonderful year. We are looking forward to sharing 2012 with you!