Gail Sczerkowsky is the type of member at the YMCA that turns a membership centre into a community. After experiencing a family tragedy, Gail moved to Surrey to start fresh in a new community. She joined the Tong Louie Family YMCA in 2012 and said that at the time, “the Y represented a new start with new people to share companionship”. And that’s exactly what she found.
Gail, who’s always loved being active, was excited to see how engaging and outgoing the instructors at the Y were, and she loved that they took care to connect members to each other, building a sense of community. Over time she found that mentoring and encouraging other members herself, helped her to take her mind off of her sadness and rewarded her “with lifelong friendships”.
After a tumor severed nerves on her back, Gail, in her 50’s, bravely took on the challenge of having to re-learn how to use her body, at first unable to even walk without support. Using the facility and supportive community she had gained through the YMCA, Gail worked her way to a full recovery and still enjoys the many programs and classes she loved when first joining the Y years ago.
Now, a dedicated volunteer, Gail uses her incredible patience and ability to sense and help others in need to make the Tong Louie Family YMCA a better place for those around her. She eagerly supports any event at the centre, and can be seen chatting with anyone from new members to board members, happily sharing the impact of the YMCA. When asked what she feels when she’s at the Y, Gail says, “I feel like I need to be here”.