John Gale introduced our speaker Rob Adams today. Born in Woodstock, Ontario, Rob is currently the head of the YMCA of Eastern Ontario. Rob was previously with the Natioanl Capital Region YMCA/YWCA. Rob currently lives in Brockville.
Rob explained that the YMCA's of Kingston and Brockville have merged to form the YMCA of Eastern Ontario. The merger was undertaken to help increase the Y's reach and impact in the area.  Right now the Y is focusing on it's Peace Medal awards.
About the YMCA (taken from Rob's presentation)
1851 First YMCA in North America (Montreal)
1855 YMCA of Kingston Formed
1892 First Owned Facility by Y Kingston
1935 Opening of Johnson Street facility
1963 Opening of Wright Crescent - their present location.
1970 Additions, Squash, Saunas, Locker Space
1977 Additions, 2nd Gymnasium, Elevator, Four Tennis Courts
1980 Additions, Separate Ladies and Men’s Health Clubs with Whirlpools
1998 Women’s Residence Converted to Childcare
1998 2nd Gym converted to Group / Cycle fit Studios
2000 Upgrades, Elevator, Change room,  Fitness floor
2008 Pool Expansion, Family Change room, Squash Courts
Key Messages about YMCA Peace Week
·As we navigate through the pandemic, YMCA Peace Week takes on new meaning, illustrating how the ongoing work of building peace needs to continue now more than ever. COVID-19 and the urgent calls for action to address/support anti-black racism are challenging us, as individuals, as communities, and as a country, to reconsider where we’ve been and where we want to go.


·Peace is more than the absence of violence and conflict. Peace is the ongoing work of building and rebuilding conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity.


·YMCA Peace Week is celebrated the third week of November to recognize the work that happens year-round to build peace in our communities, both inside and outside the YMCA.
·At the YMCA, we are committed to doing this work as a healthy community cannot exist without the presence of peace for all.
·We invite you to join us in embodying the values of PEACE through your daily actions. Together, we can build a better Canada.
·Peace is an active state of being, not a passive one. Together, let’s Build community. Act for Peace.
       This years' Peace Medals will be awarded during the third week of November. Nominations will be accepted from all around the region. Youth are also  considered for the awards. Last year, the awards went to the Public Health offices in KFL&A and Leeds Grenville. Without their guidance, the Y wouldn't be open right now. The awards were also a great morale booster for the staffs.
       During the pandemic, the Y has had to adapt. Issues like homelessness, food insecurity, LGBTQ issues, and racial issues have increased. The Y has started to help vulnerable communities, to 'build the Canada we all want'.  The Y is operating in 12 schools offering before and after school care, and the also operate a child care facility in a senior's home. Soon their will be any centre at Providence Manor. The Y has also expanded programs into smaller centres like Seeley's Bay. And they are looking down the road at a new building to replace the almost 60 year old Wright Crescent building.
         After taking questions Rob was thanked by Leslie Frise, who reminded us that we are lucky here in Kingston - YMCA's in some other areas have had to close due to Covid.