Photo by Jessica Xu Photography
If you’ve been involved at the Darien Y at any time in the last 7 years, you’ve likely seen member Erin Lumpkin and her family around the building.
Erin initially joined the Darien Y when she had a toddler and an infant. She was new to town and looking for an activity she could do with both of her kids, and that’s when she found the Y’s Tumble Bees gymnastics class: she found she could participate in the class with her toddler while her infant was happily strapped to her chest!
From there, Erin’s family became permanent fixtures at the Y: they have participated in gymnastics, swimming, soccer, karate, tennis, golf, volleyball, kayaking and sailing, and summer camps. All 3 of Erin’s children went through/are going through Holly Pond School, and both Erin and her husband work out at the Y regularly. Erin is at the Y so often and is so knowledgeable about the programs we offer; many people think she is a Y employee! She’s not, though she may qualify as the Darien Y’s “unofficial ambassador”.
Though there is no doubt Erin’s family continues coming to the Y because there is always programming to meet her family’s changing needs and interests, it’s clear from speaking with Erin that she and her family are closely connected to the PEOPLE at the Y. Having participated in such a wide variety of programming, Erin counts several staff members among her friends, and has developed core friendships with other parents she got to know while watching kids’ activities. Erin’s children are clearly at home here at the Y, too. Erin told us about preschool teachers, swim instructors, gymnastics coaches, front desk staff, and many other staff members with whom her kids feel a bond. With family 1200 miles away, the relationships The Lumpkin Family has made here at the Y feel like a “second family.”
Erin loves the Darien Y, the rest of her family loves the Darien Y, and Erin wants others to join the Y so they can have a similar positive experience. She believes that community members don’t realize everything the Y offers, and with childcare available, even working parents can involve themselves in Y programming. She points out that it can be easy to take for granted how impressive and expansive this facility really is, and she wants for as many people as possible to be able to participate in programming here. She really appreciates what the Y does for the community as a WHOLE: it’s for everyone, from kids to seniors, and Erin feels passionately that physical activity, community connection, and positive mental health all go hand-in-hand.