© 2018 Mirror Image Presentations, Alan John Mayer.
Thank you, Madam President for assuaging my entry. Blessed Solstice, members, and guests. I googled March 22nd In History and read about absolutely every boring thing that happened from 250 B.C. to present day, nothing I thought might interest you — until it hit me.
(He steps out from behind the lectern) “It’s fun to stay at the YMCA. And since Toastmasters was born at the YMCA, I thought — The “Y” is the key. Saving the souls of young men, assuaging, has been the Y‘s mission since 1844, and they have incorporated it into all their programming in a very conscious way. During the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th Century, young men were drawn to London in search of employment. They worked twelve hour days, six days a week, and usually slept on the floor of the store or factory in which they worked. That was one way to assure punctuality.
Unhealthy social conditions put YMCA on the map. The first YMCA in the United States was built in 1851, in Boston. Has anyone here ever stayed in a hotel? Did you pull out the nightstand drawer? What did you find? A Gideon Bible, placed there by YMCA volunteers responsible for distributing Gideon Bibles to hotel nightstands around the world. That is a lot of nightstands. Until last week, I was unaware of YMCA’s many contributions to society.
Are you ready?
Aerobics, baseball, basketball, football, bowling-ball, jazzercize, racquetball, squashball, volleyball, scuba diving, training for Trainers, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, camping, body building, Bible classes — DEEP BREATH — Swimming Techniques & Life Saving Classes,
the first Swimming, Water Safety, and Sex Education manuals (three separate volumes) English Language classes, Women services, Childcare, Father’s Day — I’m okay, ‘Time is of the essence’ – Black History Month, support of American Indians, Japanese, POW, Veterans of every conflict since the Civil War, the eleven Toastmaster clubs founded by George Mayer, Publishing, Universities, — and even the Young Adult quadrille — ‘A BOY ALONE’ – ‘Obsessed’ all — Born – Audience? At The Y.M.C.A.
Correct, The “Y”. The first pools in America, (built in Y.M.C.A.s) were only five feet deep, fourteen by forty-five feet long, without water re-circulation systems, or filters. The water got dirtier and dirtier, until it was drained on Saturday to become a health hazard by Monday. The YMCA is the largest operator of swimming pools in the world, with over 100,000 private rooms, more than ANY hotel chain in the world. Y.M.C.A. staff put into operation the first water filtration systems. Next time you swim in a pool, join me in thanking – Audience?
During World War II, the Y.M.C.A. raised more money to support soldiers than any other operation, including the Salvation Army, and the Knights of Columbus. Y.M.C.A. founded several colleges to fill a need for trained employees. In 1922, another First, “The Y” started a retirement fund for employees. The Peace Corps was founded on the principles of The Y. Yes Sir. When asked to facilitate, the Board declined. I imagine they were busy playing with their balls, inventing more games.
In 1917, Howard Walker sang, “I Would be True to – Audience? The Y.M.C.A”.
In 1918, Ed Rose sang “You Must Come Across” – Audience? Y.M.C.A.
In 1920, Irving Berlin sang “I Can Always Find a Little Sunshine – (CUPPED EAR)
at The Y.M.C.A. So The Village People were not the first to sing the praises of the – Audience? — Y.M.C.A. No, no, no. The answer is Toastmasters. That’s okay. I too, am still learning.
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God bless us all.