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Richmond Hill YMCA is a village green
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As the Y draws closer to meeting our $50,000 goal for our annual campaign, I had the honor of meeting with the Rev. Nick Batzig, pastor of New Covenant Presbyterian Church. He was enthusiastic in sharing his views on one of Richmond Hill’s “village greens.”

Q: Why do you serve on the YMCA board of managers year after year?
A: When my wife, Anna, and I moved to Richmond Hill in 2008, we immediately joined the YMCA — which at that time was located in an extremely small building directly off of Ford Avenue. Over the next three years, we watched as Mary Arocha led the process of marvelously transforming it into a much more-substantial fixture for our community. When Mary asked if I would be interested in serving on the board, I seized the opportunity precisely because I believe that the Y plays an extremely important role in our rapidly growing town. For us, the Richmond Hill YMCA was (and continues to be) one of the most significant “village greens” to which people regularly gather in our city. The Y offers services that naturally coalesce with the growing community of which we are a part.

Q: How has your family benefitted from our local Y?
A: Among the plethora of ways in which we have benefited from the Richmond Hill YMCA, it would be fair to say that — considering our family life dynamic — the multitude of classes offered at the Y, combined with the convenience of child care, has been the most advantageous. When we moved to Richmond Hill, we had two young boys, Micah and Eli. We then had our third son, Judah, the following year. The demands of starting a new church in town coupled with bringing up three young boys left us with limited time and enormous pressures. The flexibility of class schedules and child care was especially beneficial to Anna. Additionally, when our boys were old enough, the YMCA’s programs proved to be an affordable and manageable way in which to introduce them to various sports.

Q: From a pastoral perspective, what is one of the great benefits of the Y for the community in which we live?
A: Being strategically located between two military bases creates a unique dynamic and raises a diversity of needs for families in our community. In our church, one of the greatest challenges that we face is how to minister to the needs of the wives and children of those who serve in the military. The YMCA, with its classes, child care and community, plays a strategic role in providing an outlet for these women. Many of our own congregants regularly make use of the Y’s assistance in this regard. We have witnessed the way in which the Y has played a significant role in helping to meet the needs of those whose husbands are away in training or deployed.

Q: Looking ahead, describe the YMCA you would like Richmond Hill to have within the next five years.
A: I have been overjoyed to see the progress of the Y from the time we moved to Richmond Hill until now. It is exciting to watch as future plans for property, pool and other accommodations are diligently pursued. I am confident that the future of the Richmond Hill YMCA is one that will continue to further help meet the needs of our community.

New Covenant Presbyterian meets every Sunday in the Richmond Hill City Center. You can find out more online at

We make the community we love a better place to live one child at a time, one family at a time. Our Y programs teach young people important values such as caring, honesty, responsibility and respect. Through a variety of fun activities, they also develop valuable skills while they gain confidence and self-esteem. You simply can’t put a price on strengthening and enriching the character of a child. Together, we can reach our $50,000 goal because of generous heroes like the folks listed below:

• Catherine Grant and Lori Gaylor, ExperCare Urgent Care
• Brandy Trout, Dental Wellness Center
• Colony Bank
• Mark and Jeanne Muhlenberg
• Ken and Elizabeth L. Ergle
• Lawrence Greene, Flyers Tae Kwon Do
• Gene Knight Painting

If you or your company would like to become our hero and make a donation of $1,000 or more, your name will be posted in this newspaper, a 2-foot-by-3-foot sign thanking you or your company will be placed in the YMCA for one year, and you will also receive a yard sign to place at your business or home that recognizes you as a hero of our YMCA! Go to our website to donate online.
Hope to see your name or company’s name next week as a hero!

Muhlenberg is a Richmond Hill YMCA board member. 

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