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Y is epitome of ‘community’

Posted: October 9, 2012 3:20 p.m.
Updated: October 10, 2012 5:00 a.m.

We all aspire to live in a viable and strong community. Camden has history, beautiful churches, restaurants, public parks, nice wide streets and tennis courts. And to think we have the opportunity to move forward with a recreation center to be managed by the YMCA! Having grown up in a city with a Y to which my family belonged, I know that a Y can be a place to enhance the quality of life for citizens of all ages.

An emphasis on wellness demonstrates quality in a community. YMCAs have long been associated with wellness, family, safety, recreation and fun. It offers a wholesome environment -- for all ages, races and socio-economic groups. The Y is the epitome of community.

Camden needs this recreation center! Other cities smaller than Camden are successfully sustaining a Y. Using our hospitality tax for this purpose is most appropriate, since sporting events at the proposed recreation center will draw people to our city where they will eat at our restaurants, visit our shops and, perhaps, spend the night.

Business leaders actively recruit outstanding young men and women to return home after their education to keep this community strong. We need to make their work easy by making this town even more attractive to young families. We are all proud of our town, but in recent years, other towns are moving ahead of us. If we want our youth to come back, or to have new families move here, the truth is that we need to offer them something that compares to their many other options. This project is a step in the right directions.

In the senior living field, where I work, the emphasis is to create a wellness environment in each of our retirement communities. We now have the opportunity to create that same environment in our city -- for all of us!

I truly believe that a mark of a strong community is exemplified by the constructive and positive blend of the diversity that exists within the community. A recreation center, managed by the Y, is the place where this can happen. This what the Y has always promoted, again, for both young and old.

Before you vote on this important issue, please consider the points addressed at Camden is our home. A home is about people who care about each other. My plea is for us to consider pulling together to show what we can together in a positive way as we plan for the future.


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