In his One View, [Flying V a win for Oak Park, Viewpoints, Feb. 20], Patrick Tucker calls Oak Park "Oak Pottersville," which suggests he is dissatisfied with some aspects of the village. He highlighted the following as attributes of Flying V: "having children of several different nationalities in the class and the instructors emphasizing to the children the importance of hard work, respect for parents, and keeping their rooms clean."
Organizations working with children and youth would do well to incorporate such values in their programming. If Mr. Tucker hasn't done so, I hope he will visit the West Cook YMCA, take a tour, talk with staff and members and learn about the values that are integral to its existence, culture and programming. If he can't visit, there is much to be learned about the Y on its website.
During the 110 years of its existence in this village, the YMCA has been and continues to be much more than a gym for youth. As stated on its website and incorporated in its very being, "The Y community is our cause. By offering programs that strengthen spirit, mind and body for all, we strive every day to make the community strong. We believe every child deserves a safe place to learn and play, every adult should have access to tools for healthy living, and communities must have opportunities to give back. As a cause-driven organization, we are focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We never turn anyone away for inability to pay." At the Y, children and adults alike are encouraged to inculcate caring, honesty, respect and responsibility into their play and work.
The West Cook YMCA is not a business. It is an invaluable asset and resource to Oak Park, Forest Park, River Forest and the seven other communities that it serves.
Donald B. Register
Past chair, West Cook YMCA Board of Directors
42-year resident of Oak Park