Jeannie Chaney has been involved with the Y since she was young, when she used to ride the city bus to the YMCA in Warren, OH, for swimming lessons. She was grateful for the opportunity to learn water safety, gain independence, meet new friends, and cool off during her summer vacation.
As an adult, her involvement includes being on the Advisory Board of the Hillcrest-Lyndhurst Y for more than 30 years. When asked how she has seen the Y impact the community, she notes that people were so isolated during the pandemic. The Y continued to be a place to come together and stay healthy.
She is hopeful and supportive of a new mental health initiative the Y is introducing. In a 2021 Case Western Reserve University study with Cleveland YMCA members, social isolation and loneliness were identified as top concerns. The YMCA of Greater Cleveland branches are well-positioned to play a leading role for their communities in addressing these issues and promoting health and connectedness.
Jeannie has always known that the Y is more than a gym and swim, and is proud of her role as an advocate for all the Y does. Her support of the Annual Campaign provides resources so that everyone can participate in any Y program. Jeannie shares that “people should give back for what they have received in life” through time, talent, and treasure. “When people understand what the need is, they are more likely to give back.” She wants everyone to know that the Y is not just for youth and serves individuals and families throughout their lifespans with worldwide reach of services for ALL.
Jeannie wasn’t the first in her family to participate in Y programs. Her dad attended Camp Fitch YMCA in North Springfield, PA, in the late 1920s!
Jeannie also sent her son to Camp Fitch for several years of overnight camp. She laughed as she remembered how her son, Jeff, recruited all the kids in the neighborhood to go with him.
Outside the YMCA, Jeannie is an avid Purdue fan and alumnus. She graduated from Pharmacy School and still visits often for games and events. She just might have a rivalry with some Wisconsin Badgers fans at the Hillcrest Y.
Jeannie, the Y is so grateful for your support and kind heart. Thank you for all you do!