Gina DeSantis joined the YMCA when she moved to Lakewood almost 20 years ago. She feels that the Y has been a great place to connect with her community. She enjoys meeting new members regularly in Lakewood Y classes. Even during Covid, Gina would participate in Zoom coffee meetings with fellow members to stay engaged.
About two years ago, the current board chair, Cindy Strebig, approached Gina to see if she was interested in joining the Advisory Board. Gina jumped in with two feet!
With her art background as the founder of Gina DeSantis Ceramics, Gina brings experience, Y knowledge, and a creative perspective to her volunteer service. She wanted a volunteer effort different from her “day job” and has become very involved in her board role.
After her first year on the board, she was nominated to be the Annual Campaign Chairperson. Gina leads committee meetings monthly with her fellow board members to increase advocacy and support for the Y. She believes deeply in the Y’s mission to be available for all and works to make that a reality for people in and around Lakewood.
Gina’s focus with the committee is to increase support for the Lakewood Y. She does this by organizing events, meeting with community members, and talking with donors to find out more about why they give to the Y. You can even find Gina advocating for the Lakewood YMCA during Meet the Trucks, held each year in Lakewood Park.
This fall, the Lakewood Y, under Gina’s volunteer leadership, will host a Bowl-A-Thon on November 17 to raise money for the Annual Campaign. Gina’s goal is to raise $25,000! There will be ten teams of four people competing and plenty of opportunity for spectators to enjoy the competition at Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood (13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH). The money raised will provide financial assistance for community members in need for their participation in membership and programs at the Lakewood Y.
Gina encourages everyone to get involved in their community. “Even if you can only give a small amount of time or financial resources, it all adds up,” she explains. We thank Gina for her dedication and enthusiasm for Lakewood and the YMCA!