The Bright Spots – December 16, 2016

Hello Countryside Tribemates!

How did it get to be December 16 so quickly?
 
It has been a year of highs and lows for most of us for a variety of reasons, but one simple fact remains: our administrative team is boundlessly proud of you and the work that you do within our building and out in the community.  Each of you is a Cause Driven Leader, the face of the Y, contributing to something bigger than yourself via the YMCA movement in the United States.
 
I want to say a HUGE thank you to LARA SURFUS and her staff for providing us with the MOST DELICIOUS staff luncheon I could have imagined!  I am slightly embarrassed at the amount of turkey and fruit cobbler that I was able to consume.  You will see me with all the other “New Years Resolutioners” in the CSC next month. Hope you had a Dickens of a Good Time!
 
It was wonderful to be able to share time in the new community space, and I will look forward to many more activities there in 2017!

Another huge thank you to everyone who participated in the door decorating contest! Congrats to Arts & Ed for winning the grand prize of a $50 gift card to Royce Cafe! The judges LOVED the “Christmas at Hogwarts” theme!  And yes, in the second photo below, those are floating candles that actually light up. 

I’ll be adding an album of photos to the Facebook Countryside Staff Page so that you can check out all the talent from this competition!
 
I’d also like to offer congratulations to everyone who won a prize for participating in our raffle and “Who Said It” activities!
 
The “Who Said It” winner was NATE BRESTELLI, who received a $20 Target Gift Card!
 
The winner of the “Guess How Many Chocolates in the Container” challenge was KATHY WINKLER from the North Entry membership desk!
 
We have another interesting year ahead, one where we are going to have to continue to show the community why the Countryside YMCA is a special place, grow our membership and make an impact in the community.  
 
Everyone here has a role in making that happen. 
 
In the words of Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void Art (who I realize I quote constantly), is this truth:
customers

“We know that selling is about more than a great product, it’s about filling a greater need.

We know that marketing is about more than flashy ads, it’s about meaningful content.

We know that our clients and customers and patients and users are, first and foremost, people.

So, we have to know that our greatest strength lies in our community.

Building relationships with your people takes time, sure, but it’s worth every second — because those are the people who make sure your brand stays alive and relevant.”

2017 will certainly be a year for relationship building as we share our renovated areas with our existing and new members!  
 
One last Dickens quote before we close the week, one that is fitting as we head into 2017:
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Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.!
Kirsten
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The REAL Meaning of Christmas

Wanted to share this poem from my co-worker, Kathy Chrostowski.

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The Real Meaning of Christmas

I used to think Christmas came with a bow
There had to be gifts for all the folks that I know
Decorations and lights and holiday snow
Bigger and better each year it would grow
I’d do Christmas crafts and shop for a deal
I’d make all the cookies, the best Christmas meal
My house all aglow, the love that I feel
I’d share with the world – that was the appeal.
Expectations arose, that’s what happens when you
Try to out best your own best, eventually to
Find that it really isn’t working for you
Maybe you haven’t been thinking things through.
So I stepped back as I watched all the ads on TV
Screaming and yelling “You need this, buy me!”
“Get a new car, it’s practically free!”
“Your life’s not complete unless you can buy three!”
And I realized suddenly all of this stress
Comes from my own selfish need to impress
The people who already love me, I guess,
Leaving my financial life a big mess.
Deciding this year, I’d try something new
I’ll pare down the gifts from many to few
I’ll only do that which I have time to do
And try to find meaning for Christmas that’s true.
No matter your faith, your race or your creed,
No matter what color of blood that you bleed
Christ came for us all, He is all that we need
His love is not measured by how we succeed.
But by how we love back, which often depends
On common ground, not on how much one spends
Make sure that the love in your heart never ends
And you’ll find Christmas joy in your family and friends.
— By Kathy Chrostowski