Dick and Dottie Foster

Dick and Dottie have been active members at the YMCA of Port Angeles for 24 years and counting. Their Y journey started when Michelle Haymen, an aerobics instructor, picked up a job at the YMCA. “A few of us women would get together and do aerobics in the basement of the hospital and when Michelle moved to the YMCA, so did I.” Their routine quickly became second nature, as they lived right up the road from the YMCA on 3rd street. They would walk the dog and then come to the YMCA. While Dottie did aerobics, Dick would workout in the Wellness Center.

Their driving force for bringing them to the YMCA was keeping a routine exercise. Dottie explained, “It has always been an important part of our lives to keep physically and mentally fit, especially as you age. The fact that the YMCA was more than just a gym, was a bonus.” As soon as they joined, the friendly atmosphere hooked them for good. “I have had many different gym memberships and experienced what each of them had to offer. None of them quite offered what the YMCA does, it’s like family to me, said Dot. “While the physical aspect of health is important, so is mental health. The YMCA offers the social aspect that has helped us significantly. It was especially helpful when Dick traveled for work and more recently when Dick was in the hospital. The YMCA members and staff would check-in with us to make sure we had all the support we needed.”

Dicks passion for youth has always been very deep. “Because of my background, the Y and what it has to offer, is very important. When we were kids my friends and I would break into The Lincoln School Gym because we had no place to play basketball. Sports saved me when I was a kid, the dedication and guidance that sports offer our youth is huge. Some kids lack this in their lives and the YMCA provides an opportunity for all. The kids have a choice with where to spend their time. We like to know we have an influence in the Y, that they will choose to spend some of that time, here at the YMCA.”

Dick’s one piece of advice for members was to, “Pay attention to the programs and activities, get involved where you can, and support the YMCA and their mission. The mission of the YMCA isn’t possible without the community’s support. It’s crucial in helping the youth and our future.” Dottie’s piece of advice was to “pay attention and fill the needs. If we want the community to thrive, we need to support organizations like the YMCA that provide opportunities for all. The Y is a safe environment to nurture growth and give support.”

Members like Dick and Dott truly live and spread the mission of the YMCA. From their impressionable heath and light, to their undeniable passion for youth is something we can all admire.

The YMCA of Port Angeles is proud to call Dick and Dottie Foster, family.