On Monday, November 8 at 11:39 a.m., Phil Cazel, a Project Officer with the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation, called to announce their intention to award $4,989,927 for our Jackie Robinson YMCA Teen & Family Recreation Center project.

Humbled, I thanked Phil for the good news of this amazing blessing - then I listened.

Would you understand if I told you that Phil was equally as excited to simply deliver the good news? He went on to let me know how much all involved in the decision making process shared the same opinion. They all believed that of the $138,000,000 allocated statewide our plan might have the best opportunity to get more return on the investment.

The actual letter was faxed shortly after we concluded the big call. "Congratulations!" "Round One of the Statewide Park Program was intensely competitive and your project was one of 62 selected for funding from a pool of almost 500 applications!" "Welcome to the State Parks family of Proposition 84 grantees!"

I love exclamation points!

To date, I have received over 300 exclamation point emails. Our official Facebook page is filled with many more.

Pastor Sam Ely II shared three:
Wow! Give thanks indeed!! You are doing very good work there at the JRYMCA and you have been doing so for years. This is fruit of well planted seed, good soil, and hard work. Keep up the good job. This is just the tip of the first fruits breaking through the ground. A harvest is coming when this is faithfully executed, thoroughly documented and accurately reported.

Rev. Wendell M. Bass Jr. added three more:
I am so elated about JRYMCA receiving $5 million. God is so awesome and when we put the Father, Son and Holy Spirit first in our plans and ask in Jesus' name to bless them, He will always give you what you ask for. It will be done in God's time and not ours. The amazing piece is look what has happened in light of the horrible economy. However, God's economy never fails and He will supply our every need! This makes me even more convinced that God answers prayers and He blesses the work of His servants. You are truly a servant and dedicated to the cause of our communities' children and families. I know what God can do because of what He did at Lincoln and I told you that if we prayed that He would do the same thing for JRYMCA. I know that you are a praying man and I know that many on the Board are praying men and women. Those prayers will not go void. This is just the beginning of something big. We will one day have a San Diego Children's Zone. May God always continue to bless and order your footsteps. Keep on Keeping on and I remember when I talked to the Board and you one day at a meeting, I told you all, via the Holy Spirit, that your vision for JRYMCA was going to happen. The story "ain't" done yet. Stand by my friend because God is in the blessing business. "Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard nor entered into the hearts of man the great things that the Lord has in store for those that love Him!" Just read Hebrews 11:1. AMEN, AMEN and AMEN!

Since 1943, the YMCA has been planting seeds in San Diego County's most critical community. We are standing on the shoulders of so many that have insured that the public value, legitimacy and support, and operational capacity of the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA stayed strong and was always wrapped around the Mission of improving the quality of human life and helping all people realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of the spirit, mind, and body.

If you are reading this message count yourself among those responsible for this "harvest." Every advocate, donor, member, program participant, and volunteer has planted plenty of seeds through gifts of time, treasure, and talent.

How excited will we all be when a new YMCA is built in it's current location? Probably as excited as those that can remember when Greenwood Mortuary donated the land we are located on before there was an I-805. Maybe as excited as the volunteers that helped build the first swimming pool in the region during the early sixties and all of you that have stayed cool in that pool. How about those that built the gymnasium (early seventies), teen center (early nineties), Little Padres Park (1997), and the KaBoom Playground?

But we have built more than buildings at our YMCA. Every day we nurture the potential of every child and teen and we give back and provide support for our neighbors by being socially responsible.

You are valued and appreciated by me and now the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation for all you have done in the past and all you will do into the future for the kids and families served by the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA!