Paul Goldsmith - The Epitome of the Spirit of Service
Three generations of Goldsmiths have spent summers at YMCA Camp Greenville. Paul recalls how he learned a lot from former camp leaders Monk Mulligan and Bill Sandell. “I learned a lot about leadership and humanity in a critical time of my growth. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those teachings are ones I have carried throughout my life.”
Because of the love the Goldsmith family has for their time at camp and the positive ripple effects it can have on a child’s life, Paul joined his cousin, Andy Goldsmith, to invest in the renovation one of the cabins, now named in their family’s honor.
Paul has done so much for the Y over the years, so we could not let his dedication go under the radar. In 1996, he was honored with the Order of the Red Triangle, the highest volunteer service award given by the YMCA of Greenville. He is a lifetime member of the Y, and he and his wife are also members of the YMCA of Greenville Foundation’s Heritage Club for their level of giving.
“Paul is a pillar within the YMCA and the Foundation,” said MaryEllis Petrosian, Executive Director of the YMCA of Greenville Foundation. “He has given generously for generations. He is very humble, genuine, and kind. If there is a need in our community where the Y can be of service, Paul is one of the first people to step up to help.”
During the darkest times in our community in 2020 when our doors were closed due to the pandemic shutdown, Paul was there for the YMCA so that we could continue to support our members and those in the community who were struggling with food insecurity.
When asked why the YMCA of Greenville is important to him, Paul replied, “The Y has always been a part of my life, so it is a natural thing for me to support it. The Y serves a great expanse of our community and does a really good job helping Greenville.”
Prayer on the Mountain
Most people who visit YMCA Camp Greenville’s Pretty Place Chapel can’t help but feel moved by God’s presence when spending time in the revered cliff-side sanctuary. In this spirit, the leadership at YMCA Camp Greenville participated in the Y’s World Week of Prayer and World Fellowship. 2022's theme was “Ignite: Praying the Impact," and the values chosen to focus prayers on were wholeness, hope, responsibility, and dignity. The goal is to be “Ignited” to create positive impact while highlighting the need for both unity and transformative change to create lasting impact in our communities.
Each day, a devotion was posted on Pretty Place’s Facebook page, culminating in a recorded prayer by YMCA Camp Greenville’s Executive Director Cory Harrison, accompanied by music played by Mark Moseley, Director of Camper Programs. You can listen to the prayer here.
Youth in Government: Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport
One of the goals identified in the YMCA’s constitution and bylaws is to “help youth grow as responsible members of their families and citizens of their communities.”
One of the best examples of how the YMCA of Greenville brings this to life is through the South Carolina YMCA Youth in Government Model Legislature and Court conference. For 33 years, hundreds of middle and high school students take over the State House in November to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process, as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers from across South Carolina.
“The students participating in the Youth in Government conference have their fingers on the pulse of the issues that are affecting communities and schools across South Carolina today,” said Mary Capers Bledsoe, executive director, South Carolina Youth in Government at YMCA of Greenville. “While demonstrating their understanding of how the legislative process works, they also learn how to use their voices to affect positive change and engage with each other in civil discourse - respectfully debating the topic, not the person.”
Most of the volunteers who help run the program each November are former Youth in Government participants. They take off from college and their careers to help create the same live-changing experience that they had for the students of today. Just like any other YMCA of Greenville program, no one is turned away from participating due to an inability to pay. Through funds raised during the Y’s Annual Campaign and through two different endowments established with the YMCA of Greenville Foundation, any student who wants to be a part of the Youth in Government experience can.
1,100 students from 30 high schools and 200 students from 10 middle schools participated in the 2022 conference. Watch the news coverage of the 2022 event here.