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Archive for September, 2012

October 1-7, communities nationwide will come together to honor The Y Arts Week – an annual celebration to promote the power of art to EDUCATE, INSPIRE, AND CONNECT. Celebrated every October during National Arts and Humanities Month, Arts Week strives to showcase the unique talents of artists of all ages and to bring together youth, families, and entire communities.

Arts Week is an initiative of the YMCA. At the Y, we believe the arts have the power to:

  • UNITE communities and e­­­­ncourage fellowship
  • CONNECT kids and teens to themselves and their peers as they share their enjoyment and passion with each other
  • PROVIDE new challenges and opportunities for hands-on learning and growth
  • ENCOURAGE families to develop traditions of arts and crafts that can be passed down for generations
  • IMPROVE creative and tactical skills, helping kids and adults reach their God-given potential
  • SUPPORT youth in the ability to express themselves, develop confidence and greater self-esteem

The Arts at YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly
The arts have a special place at Blue Ridge. Not only are they part of our longstanding Appalachian heritage, but they are also an integral part of our ministry to serve guests and help strengthen spirit, mind, and body.

The Craft Shop

For generations, the Blue Ridge Craft Shop has provided opportunities for those who wish to create a tangible reminder of their time and experience on the mountain. There are a variety of projects for all skill levels and interests including working with clay and ceramics, candle-making, acrylic painting on wood, leather stamping, jewelry making, and fiber arts of weaving, felting, tie-dye.These activities allow our guests to experience heritage crafts of the Appalachian mountains, to express the inspirational beauty of God’s creation, and to find pleasure and peace in working together in community.

Through arts programming at Blue Ridge, we are able to reach kids who are otherwise not being reached. For instance, in collaboration with the YMCA of Western North Carolina Day Camp  youth came each week over the summer to experience our Craft Shop. Campers, ages 6-12, made felted soap, clay pots, woven oven mitt, and other creations in our Craft Shop that they were able to take home.

As we extend our services to others in the community, our ability to support the YMCA mission stretches even further. Are you an arts organization looking to gather and create? Contact Danielle Tocaben, Sales Director to plan a mountain retreat for your group. We look forward to seeing you soon and sharing in the spirited creativity and artistic expression that Blue Ridge inspires!

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Summer of Love

The Blue Ridge family could not be more excited about the recent good news from some of our staff.  This summer we celebrated an engagement, a baby and a wedding!

Cupid’s arrow struck food service’s Kyle Winters and one of our international staff from Columbia, Gaby Chavez last summer. The couple kept in touch and after several visits to South America for Kyle and another summer spent at Blue Ridge for Gaby, Kyle proposed! He will move to Columbia to teach English next month.  Blessings of love, joy and good fortune to Kyle and Gaby as they begin a life together!

A few weeks before the proposal, Kyle and Gabby were voted “Most Likely to Be Married” by fellow summer staff!

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Next, congratulations to Grounds Manager Travis Silver and wife Michelle as they welcomed a healthy baby boy to the world! We wish the Silvers all the best with the start of their new family. What a beautiful bundle of joy!

Congratulations to Travis and Michelle on the birth of their son, Sean.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. – Psalm 127:3

Lastly, best wishes and congratulations to Program Coordinator Andrew McKinney and Event Coordinator Beth Snook on tieing the knot at the North Carolina Arboretum in August.  The couple recently returned from their honeymoon in Costa Rica, just in time to prepare for our busy fall season. We are so happy and excited for this lovely duo and wish them years of prosperity and happiness for the life ahead!

Andrew & Beth McKinney: August 18, 2012

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. – Proverbs 5:18-19

We want to know…What’s YOUR Blue Ridge love story? Did you meet or fall in love with your sweetheart on the mountain? Would you like your story to be preserved in the Blue Ridge archives for eternity? Then become a part of our Marriage Roster!

The Marriage Roster is a book commemorating all of the couples who met at Blue Ridge Assembly. So far 17 couples, from the 1920s to the 1980s, have been listed in the book, but we are confident there are more of you out there! If you would like your names added to the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly Marriage Roster, please write Melissa Logan, Development Director, at mblogan@ymcabra.org with your information or simply reply as a comment in this blog post.

Share your love story with us: your maiden name, how you met on the mountain, as well as the date and location of your wedding. If you were visiting the Assembly as a guest, please specify which conference you were a part of, and if you were part of our staff, which department you served in. We’d also enjoy hearing any updates on how you and your family are doing today!

Again, best wishes and congratulations to all of the sweethearts we have united. We hope that YMCA Blue Ridge will continue to touch lives and bring people together in faith and fellowship in the years to come.

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