Celebrating 74 Years!

Thank you to all who joined us at our 74th Annual Celebration.

We look forward to celebrating 75 years with you in 2020!

Stay tuned for details!

Member of the Year Neil Bukowski

Neil Bukowski – Member of the Year

Wallingford YMCA hands out honors at annual celebration this month

WALLINGFORD — The Wallingford Family YMCA will recognize members, volunteers, staff and community partners at its 74th annual celebration this month.

YMCA Executive Director Sean Doherty said the honorees, including the owner of Neil’s Donuts and an aerobics instructor, were selected in a process that began last year. The honorees were nominated and voted on by members.


Elena Bielesz, Youth Member of the Year

Elena Bielesz – Youth Member of the Year

Elena has been a member of the Wallingford YMCA since she was very young.  She began with Mommy and Me swimming lessons where she tried to shove out of her mother’s arms instead of crying, like some other toddlers were.  It was then that we discovered her true love for swimming.  She attended swim lessons as soon as she was able to, age wise.  Elena became a member of the Dolphins swim team when she was 8 years old.  Elena has enjoyed her time with the Dolphins and continues to enjoy swimming with a thoughtful, caring peer group.


Phyllis Drescher, Employee of the Year

Phyllis Drescher – Employee of the Year

Phyllis is married to John Drescher and has one child, Kayla Drescher, who lives in Los Angeles and is a professional magician.  Phyllis has worked at the Wallingford YMCA for over 49 years and she has taught classes in Judo, Karate, step aerobics, floor exercise, preschool sport skills, and swim lessons.  She now teaches Silver Splash, Silver Sneakers, Tai Chi and a Parkinson’s water exercise class.

Doreen Donahue, Volunteer of the Year

Doreen Donahue – Volunteer of the Year

I retired from my job as an Oncology Social Worker in 2010 and I started volunteering at the Wallingford Family YMCA in 2015. I wrote a letter to Eileen Farmer, Coordinator of Community Initiatives, and asked if she needed a volunteer to help out making copies, packets and/or phone calls.  We met together and set up a schedule for me. Here it is my fifth year as a volunteer already.  I still do some work for the LIVESTRONG program when Eileen needs me.  Most of my time is now spent in the Human Resources Dept., where I help out the Director, Maryann Rizzo, with a variety of different tasks – no day is the same. The HR office is very busy and time flies by quickly.  I enjoy the work and have learned a lot these past years.


Rotary Club of Wallingford

Rotary Club of Wallingford – Community Partner of the Year

Ferguson & McGuire

Ferguson & McGuire – Community Partner of the Year