Building people on the links

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 5, 2002

The YMCA organization held its annual &uot;We Build People&uot; benefit golf tournament at the Nansemond River golf club on Friday afternoon. 116 players on 29 teams hit the links to raise money for the organization, collecting over $10,000 for the center to help the community. Organizations such as the Bank of America, the First Bank of Virginia, and Sentara General Hospital sponsored teams for the event.

&uot;It’s a lot of fun to spend a Friday afternoon golfing,&uot; said Walter Potter, the captain of his Potter and Company real estate team from Virginia Beach. &uot;I’m a member of the Hilltop YMCA, and it’s nice to have fun and benefit the Y.

&uot;My team had seven birdies and no bogies today!&uot; he said with a laugh. &uot;But winning isn’t the most important thing.&uot;

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Ken Hershberger, a member of the Potter team, found a new location in the Club. &uot;This is my first time here,&uot; he said of Nansemond River, &uot;and I think I’ll play again soon, because this course is in really great shape.&uot;

The tournament, held to benefit members and programs of the YMCA, helped create the Mobile Learning Center (MLC) program that has been teaching Hampton Roads residents about computers since 1998.

Built inside a modified Hampton Roads Transit bus, the program travels to lower-income areas to help locals with their computer skills.

&uot;We teach kids about the Internet, and develop their computer literacy skills,&uot; said MLC program director Rosalyn Green. &uot;We also help teenagers fill out job applications and resumes on the Web.

&uot;When we have people that can’t always make it to the Y,&uot; she said, &uot;we try to take a small part of it to them. A lot of people think that we’re just a ‘gym and swim’ organization, but we offer much more to the community.&uot;

Suffolk residents have only the YMCA on Godwin Boulevard to fulfill their exercise and other community-related needs. But over the next year, said marketing director Terri Reedy, that situation should change.

&uot;We’re building a new YMCA branch in Northern Suffolk,&uot; said Reedy. &uot;We’ve already purchased the land on Shoulders Hill Road, and now we’re in the process of fundraising.&uot;

When working with the other Suffolk YMCA, Reedy continued, &uot;We try to compliment each other’s needs. We’d like the new YMCA to be more teen-oriented, with things like skate parks, outdoor pools, and other fitness facilities.&uot;

She has reason to be confident for the future. &uot;Based on what we’ve seen at the Suffolk YMCA,&uot; Reedy said with a smile, &uot;things should happen fast!&uot;