An earlier version of this story appears in the March edition of Around Alhambra
The YMCA West San Gabriel Valley celebrated its 100th anniversary at Almansor Court on February 17.
The five YMCA charter cities — Alhambra, San Gabriel, Monterey Park, Rosemead, and El Monte — were awarded the Heart of the Community award for their work toward enhancing the quality of life for the residents of the San Gabriel Valley. Dr. Matthew Lin, a longtime supporter of the YMCA who is also a candidate for State Assembly, was honored with this award.
Lin credited the YMCA for shaping his values, beginning in Taiwan where he taught judo to youth. “The YMCA taught me the importance of strong communities, social responsibility, and healthy bodies,” Lin said. “These values would go on to define my life as I would go on to become an orthopedic surgeon, mayor of San Marino, and volunteer for medical relief missions around the world.”
The five charter cities had representatives from their respective councils on hand to accept the awards. Alhambra Vice Mayor Barbara Messina gave an acceptance speech, telling the audience of the city’s history and longtime support for the YMCA. L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca gave an impromptu speech congratulating the honorees. He mentioned his close relationship with the Y and continuing support for its programs. In reference to the singing of God Bless America earlier in the program, he closed his speech by saying “every day, the YMCA is blessing America.”