Creating Lasting Connections


Here at Ozark Mountain Family YMCA, we get the opportunity to develop close relationships with members of our Y community. Some people come and stay a while, and some come and go. Our facility is near a unique community that attracts some seasonal Y members that stay for the spring and summer while the bustling city of Branson keeps them entertained. But come winter, they would rather make home to warmer climates.

We have a seasonal senior couple in particular that we have come to really love and miss while they are gone. Their names are Bill and Pat Mecke. What makes them really special is that Mr. Bill Mecke has been involved with the YMCA organization since he was 6 years old in 1937.

Bill’s first YMCA was the Downtown YMCA in Miami, Florida. Starting in 1937, Bill would ride the bus from Coconut Grove to downtown Miami. He would have lunch at the Five and Dime for .10 cents, catch a double feature movie for .10 cents, and then he would spend two hours at the Downtown YMCA of Miami. Bill would usually spend most of his time in the Y’s pool, otherwise, he would utilize his energy running the track in the gym.

Bill’s family moved to Colorado in 1943 and joined the Denver YMCA. After a year, they moved again to San Diego, California, joining the local YMCA there. Bill started his own family in California and had joined other YMCAs as a board member in three different cities in California from 1964 until 1975. Bill was also involved at these YMCAs as an Indian Guide with his three sons as part of a program offered in that area. He also joined the San Bernidino YMCA, where he was able to rent a room for $25 a week while he was working away from home.

Bill and Pat joined the Ozark Mountain Family YMCA in 2005, which is where he and his wife spend their spring and summer months in their home in Ridgedale, Missouri. They head out before winter hits to their winter home in Englewood, Florida. There they continue to exercise and stay fit at their local YMCA and walk the beaches until winter is gone. When springtime comes, they come home to Ridgedale, Missouri, and home to their favorite Y, the Ozark Mountain Family YMCA. It truly is their favorite YMCA because of the friendly staff and great Silver Sneakers friends.

We really look forward to their spring arrival. Things are not quite the same without their smiling faces and good humor. They make the crowd smile. Bill and Pat demonstrate a healthy living lifestyle by taking such good care of themselves and staying fit. They are truly an inspiration.

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