Willard’s Story

“I am Y” tells the stories of Y members and staff and the transformative power of community. This is the Willard’s story:

“I joined the Y in 1942. I have been a member for almost 80 years! Makes me feel old to think about it.

“My best friend and I joined because our elder brothers and sisters were also members. That began a long stretch of time of being a Y member, minus a couple of years in the army, serving in the Korean War. I also served for 30 years in the Vermont Army National Guard.

“I am 90, and I credit the Y for keeping me in good health all these years. I come here five days a week to swim and work out at the fitness center. I’ll do six laps, 12 lengths of the pool. I do that twice a week and the other three days I spend in the fitness center, where I use the strength machines at all 14 stations, and I use the rowing machine for five minutes, and then I use the elliptical. I feel refreshed after exercising, loosened up.

“Though I have been a member for almost 80 years, and the world has changed a lot, the Y’s values remain consistent: the mission to serve our community, to be a center for our community, and to help people in our community.”

-Willard Smith

The Y is here for Willard, and we are here for you. Join us at the new Y, opening January 2020.


Pomerleau Family Y
298 College Street
Burlington, VT 05401
802 862 9622 (YMCA)

Camp Abnaki
1252 Abnaki Road
North Hero, VT
802 372 9622 (YMCA)

Additional Program Sites
in Vermont

Franklin, Grand Isle, Washington and Chittenden Counties