Earlier It was about 12 years ago that Chris Morris found himself spending a lot of time at a place he had known his entire life…the local YMCA. His girls joined the Indian Princess program and Chris was a devoted parent. So much so, that by the third year of their participation, he became Chief of the Tribe.
Eventually, a neighbor on the Board asked if Chris would be interested in joining the Board. Two years later, he was Treasurer. He was happy to do it despite the fact that, for a relatively small organization, there is a lot to manage. Since the YMCA is a national organization with the area’s headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, there are a lot of centralized controls, not that dissimilar to a governmental organization.
The challenges can also be large. In fact, they are facing one of their biggest ever right now. A swimming pool they have operated in Temescal Canyon for some 50 years was shut down by its owners, the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy, due to leaks. It had been a significant asset to the community and to the YMCA and represented a large portion of their annual revenues. In fact, revenue dropped significantly due to the closure and has led to the staff and Board having to drastically revamp their financial model.
Despite the challenges, Chris is dedicated to the YMCA. Chris was born and raised in Pacific Palisades and enjoys serving the community in this way. He has seen the transformation from a sleepy, middle class town where Chris remembers riding his Stingray into the village with his friends, eating Boston Dogs (with baked beans) at The Hot Dog Show and watching a movie at the Bay Theater.
Pacific Palisades has since transformed into a high-powered, upscale community, but the one thing that has been a constant through the transition is the little building on Via de la Paz…the YMCA. Chris, his fellow board members and the staff believe in what the YMCA offers the community as a source of healthy, outdoor activities that instill positive social values for the entire family. So you can expect to see them there for many years to come.