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At the end of each year, the Community Rec team likes to share a brief recap of the cover stories from 2021 and lessons learned. Below, take a brief trip down memory lane as we gear up for what’s ahead in 2022.

January/February with the Martin Pear JCC

The Martin Pear JCC taught us the importance of exceeding expectations. “Quite simply, if we are going to provide a program or service, we must have the ability to be one of the best at it,” said Jay Jacobs, the CEO. “What it means is we should not be using resources on programs and services that are, at best, average. When we are average, we are cheating our community.”

March/April with the Mittleman JCC

We learned about welcoming those of all ages and backgrounds from the Mittleman JCC. “We often refer to ourselves as the living room of the Portland Jewish community because we really are a second home for a lot of folks,” said Steve Albert, the executive director.

May/June with the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas

The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas shared its new strategic plan, Building Stronger Communities for All. “What I’m excited about in the next five years is still looking forward to our growth strategy,” said Curt Hazelbaker, the president and CEO. “Needs magnified by the pandemic aren’t going to go away, so we will continue the work we’ve done for the future with equity centers leading that effort.”

July/August with JCC Chicago

We learned how the philosophy of inclusion serves as a compass for JCC Chicago. “As a true community center, the J supports the whole person — from health and wellness to lifelong learning to community connection, as an individual’s well-being is multi-faceted,” said Addie Goodman, the president and CEO. “It has been incredibly heartwarming to continue this impact over the past year, migrating fitness classes outdoors and online, providing mental health support for all ages, and ensuring no one in the JCC family feels alone.”

September/October with the Burbank Community YMCA

The Burbank Community YMCA shared how it’s providing a safe space for all children regardless of their age, socioeconomic status, race, gender and sexuality through their Child Development Center and Social Impact Center. “The Burbank Y is committed to doing the right thing and living our values to serve our youth, especially those most marginalized,” said Mary Cutone, the president and CEO.

November/December with the Village of Pleasant Prairie RecPlex

The Village of Pleasant Prairie RecPlex shared how it prides itself on being able to truly offer something for everyone in the family. “’Families belong here’ is our tag line because it really does provide the most for everyone,” said Sandy Wiedmeyer, the fitness manager.

Through cover stories, articles, roundtables and more, thank you to all for allowing us to share your stories and impact. We look forward to continuing to serve the industry in 2022.

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Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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