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OCY Honors Top Volunteers During Annual Board Picnic

Every June, Old Colony Y board members, volunteers, and staff gather at Camp Yomechas to celebrate and honor the contributions of dedicated volunteers who offer their time and their passion to support our mission.

Below is a summary of this year's honorees and the immense impact they've made in the communities we serve, as written by the YMCA staff who nominated them.


Liz B., Independence House, Barnstable Community Corrections
Liz has volunteered with our center for the last three years, providing our female clients with a range of domestic violence support services. She facilitates weekly “Seeking Safety” groups and offers referral and connections to external individual services. Liz has also helped clients by providing counseling services as well as emergency supportive services. During the holidays she makes it a priority to help clients provide Christmas for their families.

Liz has consistently volunteered her time at our center. Her support of clients, both in and out of the program, goes above and beyond. She has made a profound impact on some our most disadvantaged clients. Liz is a compassionate, caring, and dedicated person who has become an integral part of the services we provide at the center.

Sam Holmstock and Joe Diggs, Brewster Treatment Program
The Brewster Treatment Program is honored to present Sam Holmstock and Joe Diggs with a Community Impact Award. Joe and Sam are instructors with the Cotuit Arts Program, and they volunteer to augment our youths’ exposure to various forms of artistic expression – music, drumming, art, and dance via an 8 week curriculum.

Sam has been a key partner in quality creative programming at the Brewster Treatment Program. The program director spoke of Sam’s dedication to our youth. He is consistently willing to adapt his approach to our youth. Sam has been a wonderful collaborator with the treatment team, always consulting with us on the best ways to support and reach youth who are resistant, and suggestions for helping to cultivate the artistic talent of particular youth. Sam has also been instrumental in arranging for other artists to join the program who are a particularly good fit for our youth. Most recently, Sam spent countless hours preparing one of our youth for a very successful musical performance at the DYS Art Showcase.

Joe Diggs has been an amazing addition to the Cotuit Arts Program. His dedication to our youth is admirable. Most recently, Joe helped one of our residents to reach his artistic potential by encouraging him to pursue his visual art. He arranged for his own mentor, a Cape Cod visual artist, to come to the program to speak to this youth. Additionally, this youth cited Joe as “his mentor” when completing his artist statement for the DYS Art Showcase. Joe continually uses flexibility and humor to reach our most resistant youth.

Katie Barnicle, Camp Yomechas
On March 2nd and 3rd this year, the New England region experienced the first in a series of nor’easter storms impacting many of our facilities – Camp Yomechas being especially hard hit, sustaining significant damage across the entire spectrum of the camp. We saw more than 60 downed trees, many striking and damaging (in some cases actually impaling) buildings along with essentially destroying the utility power infrastructure. We had a great deal of work to do to repair and restore the camp back to an operational condition in a relatively short period of time.

The Tispaquin Pond shoreline falls within the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act & the pond is identified as a rare species habitat. So begins the regulatory process with the Middleboro Conservation Commission, involving MassDEP & the Mass Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (Div of Fisheries & Wildlife). We needed the consult and seek the assistance of an experienced environmental regulatory and project management professional as this is a very specialized field which can be quite costly. In steps Kathryn (Katie) Barnicle – just the individual we’re looking for and desperately needed. Besides her valued commitment as a Plymouth Board member, Katie graciously volunteered her professional expertise and time to assist us in navigating the time consuming and daunting process.

Katie has guided us through each step, completed the endless compliance forms and applications, and represented us both at Conservation Commission meetings and in written correspondence. While this hasn’t been the first time Katie has answered the call to share her special talents and skills, in this particular case her devoted service to help restore Camp Yomechas has been invaluable.

Joe Arruda, Camp Yomechas
We are pleased to honor Joe Arruda of Bridgewater Raynham Sand & Stone. I borrowed the following quote from the company’s web site: We will work with you and/or for you, handling everything a job requires, making sure it is done and done right!

This one sentence truly illustrates the reason we chose Joe for this award. Joe was instrumental in helping us achieve our dream of constructing a new ballfield here at Camp Yomechas. Joe worked tirelessly from concept to completion to make the ballfield a reality. He was not only found working at the actual site but also attending many meetings with local boards and officials throughout the process. His dedication to the project enabled the process to run smoothly and on time.

Today, the children attending camp this summer and many more to follow will be able to enjoy a beautiful, well-appointed ballfield. It is done and it is done right! 

Joe Tansey, Central Brockton Branch
The Central Branch is honoring Joe Tansey with a Community Impact Award. From the age of 8 to 11 years old, Joe was a camper at the Newton YMCA Summer Camp. He sees his volunteer work with the Y as providing youth the opportunity to experience all the good things that camp has to offer.

Joe began his volunteer involvement in 2014 as a member of the Annual Campaign Golf Committee. He brought a wealth of knowledge to the committee and played an important role in building the success of this fundraising event. In 2017, Joe became the Chair of the Brockton Golf Committee and has provided critical leadership for this event.

In 2015, Joe joined the Board of Governors at the Central Branch. As Joe’s knowledge of our programs grew, so did his commitment to support the work of Old Colony Y. 

Bill Clay, East Bridgewater Branch
Bill has been a force in our community and an instrumental advocate for the YMCA. As the board chair, Bill has developed a committee to help bring on new board members and worked tirelessly to position the East Bridgewater Y as a leader in the community. From organizing Togetherhood projects, attending community planning meetings, and riding in our Spinathon, Bill is always willing to get involved.

Bill has served on the East Bridgewater Board of Governors since 2009, donating his time and talents to ensure that the YMCA is a focal point in the East Bridgewater community. Along with his many other commitments, Bill also serves on the board at Bridgewater Savings Bank. By helping connect the Y to the other community groups, Bill ensures the mission of the Y is reaching as many people as possible.

Bill is a great supporter of the Y and an even bigger supporter of the East Bridgewater community. We are grateful for his commitment and dedication.

Courtney Palm, Easton Branch
The Easton branch is pleased to honor Courtney Palm and North Easton Savings Bank for their commitment to Old Colony YMCA and all the communities that they serve. Courtney and North Easton Savings Bank has built upon their long history of support through the Annual Harvest Road Race – which will be celebrating its 40th year this September - to sponsorship of the Spin-a-thon, and volunteer leadership and support of the Easton Branch Annual Campaign.

This year, Courtney has led our branch board by serving as Chair, and the bank generously supported our first Association Rise Up Gala as a Youth Development Sponsor! In addition, the bank has played a lead role in the community coalition Healthy Easton, offering meeting space and allowing volunteer leadership on the coalition’s steering, bike rodeo and bike share planning committees. We appreciate your commitment and support, Courtney!

Carole Martyn, Family Services Branch
Our Family Services Branch is pleased to honor Carole Martyn from HarborOne. Nearly 15 years ago, Carole first agreed to volunteer at our Family Life Center. At an introductory event with our families, within 15 minutes, little kids were walking around in Carole’s dress boots as they were so comfortable with her and wanted to try on her boots! We knew then the type of person Carole was. Carole piloted the first ever Financial Literacy class at our Family Life Center through a collaborative relationship with the Brockton Housing Partnership. She was not only knowledgeable about financial education but she was kind, caring, compassionate, and supportive and understood the importance of building trust with our mothers.

Carole has been consistently requested by our staff and has continued to provide Financial Literacy classes to all of our families. Additionally she has supported our children and families over the years in every aspect, from sponsoring our families for the holidays, to sponsoring all events within Family Services. She has never even missed a day of wrapping at our annual holiday wrapping party for our families! Carole is a selfless volunteer and has always shown our children and families the respect they deserve. We thank Carole for her tireless efforts over the years and appreciate her unconditional support and friendship.

Scott Tirrell, Plymouth Branch
The Plymouth branch is pleased to recognize Scott Tirrell for a Community Impact Award. Scott has contributed in so many different ways during his 6 years on the board. In addition to being a key player in getting our Plymouth branch built, he has been instrumental in bringing our community together by helping to launch the new YUSA signature programs – Togetherhood and Y-Ability. Scott has worked with staff and volunteers to get the first Togetherhood project off the ground and he was a key player in building a Y-Ability committee. The Plymouth branch now offers Togetherhood and numerous Y-Ability programs such as Drums Alive, Camp Ability, and Fit Ability.

Scott’s passion lies with Camp Clark and the impact it has on the kids who attend. He is a huge supporter of our annual campaign, including our two large fundraising events – the Plymouth Golf Tournament (August) and Spinathon (March). In combination, these events raised over $70,000. All of the money raised goes back to the community by providing services for Plymouth families in need, including making it possible for us to provide camp scholarships for hundreds of kids each summer.

Scott has even turned his own experiences into opportunities for the Y. His experience with cardiac rehab has brought a new transition cardiac program to the Plymouth Y with the partnership of Beth Israel Deaconess. He attends this program every week to meet and support the participants and make sure the program runs with the intent for which it was designed. Every community and YMCA needs a Scott Tirrell!

Mary Ann Manzo, Southeast Independent Living (SEIL) Program and YouthBuild Brockton
Mary Ann has given countless hours to the YouthBuild Brockton and SEIL clients throughout the years. Mary Ann has volunteered her time at the programs, cooking breakfasts and lunches for our clients and procuring supplemental food donations. She will often make meals at her home and deliver them both to the programs and to the work site.

Mary Ann also collects and donates clothing to our clients to ensure they have proper weather gear and work outfits. Mary Ann is an incredibly generous woman; she not only gives or her time, she also invests in the clients' lives through her interactions with them. Mary Ann is a treasure to the clients and the programs. Thank you for your ongoing commitment and dedication, Mary Ann!

Carolan Sampson, Stoughton Branch
The Stoughton Branch is honored to present Carolan Sampson with a Community Impact Award. As a member of the branch board, Carolan became intrinsically involved with our Y-Abilities program. As part of the volunteer team to develop and lead the programming for Y-Abilities, her skills and experience working in the Stoughton school system led to new relationships in the school system as well as communication in the schools sharing our offerings.

Carolan has shared great pride in the Y-Ability program with the Y’s Board of Directors, brought new donors to the Y, and taken the time to get to know the children and parents participating in the Y-Ability programs. Additionally, Carolan has connected the Stoughton Schools with other programs such as after-school and camp; she is a true advocate for the Y and its programs. We appreciate your commitment and dedication, Carolan!

John Damaso, Taunton Branch
John has been a key part of the success of the Taunton Board and the Annual Campaign for many years. John embodies the mission of the Y, and connects the Taunton Federal Credit Union to the YMCA’s important work. John has successfully championed our Annual Campaign in years past. He is such a strong proponent of our Annual Campaign, and he hosts fundraisers throughout the year for the Y that include bake sales, pizza parties, jean Friday’s, and fundraising for our Spinathon!

As John approaches retirement, the Old Colony Y would like to thank him for making such a positive impact on so many lives. John Damaso is a true leader in our community and we are very fortunate to have him on our team. 

Richard Hooke and Crescent Credit Union, Youth Branch
Richard continues to be an instrumental force in organizing Crescent Credit Union’s Spin-a-Thon to benefit our Y’s Annual Campaign. Through his diligence, Crescent Credit Union employees again were “spinning” in each of their branch lobbies which truly showed a commitment to the Y’s belief of developing Spirit, Mind and Body. Through this fun and interactive activity, Richard continued developing a deeper relationship between the employees of Crescent Credit Union and the mission of the Y in each community we serve.