Earlier this month I (Larry) had the privilege of visiting the Fort Wayne YMCA as I was traveling between speaking opportunities at the Michigan State YMCA Leadership Forum and the Indiana State YMCA Leadership Forum. Fort Wayne just happens to be right between Lansing and Indianapolis, so it just made sense to stop by and visit with some of the team there.

From first moment I met CEO Marty Pastura I felt a common bond…besides just our obvious taste in sunglasses. Marty has been at Fort Wayne for 19 years and has had many opportunities to move up to larger associations. However, his commitment to the Fort Wayne community keeps him serving right where he is.      

We recently featured the story of the Renaissance Pointe YMCA’s Community Block Party held last July 23rd in our newsletter and again on our September monthly national conference call. This visit was an opportunity to meet firsthand the folks who brought that idea to life.

Marty’s passion is reflected in his staff members. I had the privilege of sharing lunch with those pictured here – Melissa McCann, Tabitha Ervin, and Chaplain Tim Hallman, This is a YMCA that is committed to make a difference in their community.

Besides the community block party which featured participation from a number of their local faith partners, the Fort Wayne YMCA has also recently started a late night basketball outreach in the inner city, added Tim Hallman as their first full-time Chaplain, and are working to establish relationship with a number of other faith-based initiatives. It doesn’t take long to get a sense that “C” in this YMCA in Fort Wayne is becoming much more prominent with leaders like these.

Thanks Marty and the team at Fort Wayne for your hospitality and for setting a great example ofhow to truly make an impact for Christ!