Santos Martinez – Adventure Guides
Santos Martinez and his wife joined the YMCA at White Rock shortly after moving to Dallas in 2002. When their oldest child was born, Santos was encouraged to enroll in the Adventure Guides program. Every year, Santos heard about the great time people would have at Camp Grady Spruce. He anxiously waited for Andre to be old enough to sign up for a pre-k opportunity. Finally, the time came when they were able to register for a spring camp at Grady Spruce. However, they were faced with a challenge. Two months prior to the campout, Andre was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Andre was always told that this disease will not hold him back from doing the things he enjoys. This would be a weekend to prove that point. YATAHEY! As Andre and Santos were entering the campgrounds on Possum Kingdom Lake they knew this would be a memorable experience for a couple of reasons. First, it was the first time the two of them would spend a relaxing weekend alone together. There was no need to rush an event or hurry on to somewhere else. Second, it would be the first weekend away from home where they both would have to monitor Andre’s blood sugar and insulin. Camp Grady Spruce was an unbelievable weekend. Andre enjoyed the horseback riding and canoeing. He made new friends and Santos and Andre spent a lot of time just talking. It was a remarkable experience and a lot of fun. Both gained the confidence to handle his diabetes and still have a great time. “The YMCA gave me a chance to become involved in my community and make a difference to the people we serve. I did not realize it would also give me a chance to be a better dad,” said Santos. “Andre and I have gone on other camping weekends, but Camp Grady Spruce will be a truly memorable place.”
Bradley Fuller is an 11-year-old boy who absolutely LOVES the YMCA. He participates in many programs at the Waxahachie Family YMCA, but especially enjoys the sports and aquatics activities. His favorite is flag football where he has had the opportunity to improve his passing, running, catching, and other fundamental skills. But most importantly, he has learned the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship. The YMCA Youth Sports philosophy is to allow kids to participate in a non-competitive program with an emphasis on fun, development of character, and fair play. Playing sports is a wonderful opportunity to help children grow personally, clarify values, improve relationships, appreciate diversity, develop leadership skills, and most of all, to have fun! Bradley’s love for the game has grown since joining the Y, and he looks up to the volunteer coaches who have helped him build his skills. He looks forward to every practice and game. He also enjoys the games and activities at the facility and originally, his parents thought it would be a great place to drop him off while they ran errands. However, children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while at the Y, unless they are in a supervised program. When this was explained to Bradley’s mother, she wasn’t sure what she would do to pass the time while Bradley was playing. At first she waited in the lobby, but it didn’t take long before she discovered that she actually enjoyed working out at the Y and she began improving her own health and well-being. Turns out the supervision policy helped both Bradley AND his mother!