My name is Laura Laura and I am the very lucky mother to two amazing kids; Gracyn (age 6) and Thomas (age 3). My husband, Peter, and I have been married for 10+ years now. Peter grew up in Rye and wanted to raise our kids here. I grew up in a neighboring town but very quickly fell in love with Rye and its community. I began working at the Rye YMCA in 2007 and was meant to start right before a terrible nor'easter devastated Rye and especially the Rye Y. After witnessing the Y get rebuilt by its incredible staff and community members, I was able to begin my journey there.
I started out part-time as a floor trainer and personal trainer while figuring out post-college life. I quickly found my calling was to help others and decided the Rye YMCA mission would become my mission. Currently, I am part of the Vestry at Christ's Church of Rye and serve on the Rye Free Reading Room auxiliary board. On September 1st, the Rye YMCA, and much of Rye and its surrounding communities, were hit with 8-9 inches of rain and substantial flooding. Our flood gates (which were installed after 2007) held strong but the water level was at least a foot higher. The sump pumps could not keep up with the amount of water flowing in and the force of the water broke thru windows and doors. The entire first floor was ruined, including our newly renovated child care space. Although the Y has flood insurance, we expect that the cost of construction and remediation will far exceed our policy’s $1 million coverage. Our team is working very hard to reopen as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have been blessed with the support from several community partners that have stepped up to provide space for our programs. Many thanks go out to Christ's Church of Rye, Rye Recreation Department, the Rye City Schools, the Carver Center and our incredible members. Although our first floor will take time to rebuild, the fitness center and gymnasium have recently reopened and we hope to have one pool opened in the coming weeks. This past month has taught me many lessons. The need for strong community ties is desired now more than ever. Covid already presented a challenge for so many businesses, non-profits and schools but most importantly our own neighbors and friends. The amount of support and love has truly brought me to tears most days. There is a long road ahead and I hope we all continue to carry one another and be there for each other. The stress and trauma for so many is still present. My grandest lessons are to be kind and patient, and to take care of ourselves so we can continue to help others. I am blessed to have the Rye YMCA and my church, where I find myself the ability to recharge. My advice for everyone, to find that special place so you can find peace and perspective. Truly, I just want to thank you to the hard working Rye Y staff and Rye community for all your generosity and support. If you would like to make a donation to support the Y’s mission or rebuilding efforts, click here.