A lot of words come to my mind when I think of the Princeton YMCA — community, healthy living, values, caring, respect and responsibility. But there’s another word I associate with the Princeton Y. Stewardship. The dictionary defines stewardship as the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving. The Y has been part of my life since I was a young boy. Now I’m the father of three, and care deeply about opportunities for all children. I know the Princeton YMCA is the cornerstone of making a better, stronger community for all — and is certainly worthy of that protection, care and preservation.
My connection to the Princeton Y started when I was about five years old, and learned to swim there. At the time, my family lived in a rural area of Hillsborough Township where many of the roads were still unpaved. My parents had to drive more than half an hour to get to the Y, but it was worth it. I swam there, played basketball, participated in the Y summer camps, learned martial arts, and was on the staff there through college. It was an important part of my life, and my three children have all spent time there as well.
My children and I have benefited from a Y that was built by others before us. Now, I am excited to be able to step up and help renovate a Y that will benefit future generations. This is the essence of stewardship. Now is the time for all who are able to lend their support to the Princeton YMCA’s REFRESH Campaign.
The area has changed and grown from when my parents and I drove on unpaved roads to the Y. The needs of the community have changed as well. I’ve seen tremendous growth of for-profit youth sports facilities and organizations. I believe the Y brings the community together by providing a welcoming, inclusive mission that is open to everyone. Healthy living — spirit, mind and body — at the Y is not just limited to those who can afford it.
Today, I work in Princeton and live in Montgomery. I am devoted not only to supporting the Princeton YMCA, but also to carrying its exemplary model to the youth recreation programs in my community. All these years later, I still have a special affinity for the organization which helped shape me during my formative years. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had through the Princeton Family Y, and know that I stand on the shoulders of those who were there for me when I was a child.
Please join me in supporting this important effort, by giving back to a Princeton institution that has given so much to so many. Our stewardship of the Princeton YMCA through the REFRESH Campaign today will make an important difference in many lives for decades to come.
Stephen K. Shueh is a founder and Managing Partner of Roundview Capital. In addition to serving as a Princeton YMCA REFRESH Campaign Ambassador, he has volunteered on the Board Development Committee, served on the Board of Directors, and chaired the Joint Trustees of the Princeton YMCA-YWCA.