Kathy and Patty
Meet two sisters who have been volunteers, teaching group
exercise for the Nuuanu YMCA, since the 80’s: Patty and Kathy Foley. The two
have been a part of the YMCA since their 20’s; Patty even met her husband here!
While they have their regular careers to balance day to day, they still manage to put in the extra hours to learn and teach new choreography every week. The two sisters mentioned that without this opportunity they would probably be working day and night in the office. “Our classes give us a chance to just leave the office and do something positive for others.”
Patty reflects that “after 30 years of teaching, you get good at multitasking and adapting.” Coming in 3-5 days after their 8 to 5 jobs to teach, motivate, and keep up a high energy can be challenging but it’s what motivates them.
“We want this to be a lifestyle change, and be fun for members instead of it being a chore.”Through their dedication to the Y’s Healthy Living Cause and mentoring others, they've realized the joy of making an impact on members lives and seeing the improvements in their health.
Both Patty and Kathy have gone above and beyond as volunteers that are flexible, adaptive, and take the time to plan their classes. “We practice and listen to our choreography everywhere. We listen to it in the car, when we go for walks. We practice imagining the moves constantly,” says Kathy. They even go a step further by assisting other staff with choreography and hold an annual holiday dinner to help bring members together to bond.
Kathy says, “We’ve made lifelong friends here. We come here and feel loved, there aren’t many places like the Y.”
Both Patty and Kathy agree that the members are like family to them; when the sisters faced the passing of their mother, they recalled on the amount of love and support that flooded in from their Y family.
While it’s hard work, they enjoy every moment and crave being in this environment and atmosphere. “We couldn’t imagine not teaching, or being active. We love to exercise and it’s good for us and others."
Why The Y: We Are More Than Just a Gym