Tara Lambert, a Franklin resident, was honored as the Bernon Family Branch Youth of the Year at the Hockomock Area YMCA. A near constant presence in the life of the Bernon Family Branch, Tara has served as a member of the Leaders Club, a Member Services volunteer, a swimming instructor, a lifeguard, and a camp counselor. While presenting her with the Youth of the Year Award, Tara’s advisor Nate Packert shared how Tara “has displayed amazing leadership qualities, and she goes to the Y every day with her best foot forward.” A natural people person with a bright smile, Tara has shared how one of her most important goals is simply to make people happy.
|Tara Lambert receives Youth of the Year Award alongside her family|
Recalling her experience with the Y, Tara remarks, “I like how my Y story began. I remember the Counselor-in-Training fee was due at the end of the week which was a lot all at once. My parents called the camp director and he said ‘We will make it work for your family.’” From the director’s perspective, this was certainly a sound investment, since Tara went on to become one of the Y’s most impactful youth leaders.
Tara looks back fondly on her time at the Y. Upon receiving the award, her closing thoughts were, “The way I see it, life is like a series of books…while my YMCA book is far from over, this is a pretty amazing way to end this chapter.” Tara’s next chapter will be at Westfield State University, where she will be studying nursing. The Hockomock Area YMCA is proud to name Tara a Youth of the Year recipient, and while we wish her nothing but the best of luck with her next chapter, we sincerely hope to see her YMCA book be filled with many more pages of impact and opportunity.
In addition to Tara’s Youth of the Year Award, the Franklin Food Pantry was honored with the Bernon Family Branch’s Red Triangle Award. The Franklin Food Pantry is committed to providing immediate hunger relief and healthy sustainable solutions. It does so by empowering the community through resources, education, and collaboration, efforts that go far beyond bringing food to people. Upon presenting the Food Pantry with the award, Bill Chouinard, the Chairman of the Bernon Family Branch’s Board of Managers and himself a Franklin resident, remarked how the people at the pantry “continue to be where children and families need them the most, working to meet the basic human needs, while preserving the dignity of those that they serve.”
|Photo L-R: Hockomock Area YMCA President Ed Hurley; Franklin Food Pantry Executive Director Erin Lynch; Bernon Family Branch Board of Manager Chair Bill Chouinard, and Hockomock Area YMCA Board of Directors Chairman Brian Earley|
In addition to serving 600 families through traditional food pantry operations, the Franklin Food Pantry partners with the Hockomock YMCA and Stop & Shop to create the Healthy Futures Shelf. This service provides the Pantry’s clients access to nutritious choices, and helps to prevent chronic health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Erin Lynch, the Executive Director of the Food Pantry, spoke about this partnership with the Hockomock Y in her acceptance speech. She said, “I couldn’t ask for a better partner than the Hockomock Area YMCA. They’ve shared resources, time, talent, and treasure with us over the past year, and I truly appreciate it.” The Hockomock Area YMCA, along with the entire Franklin community, truly appreciates the Food Pantry’s innovative work in forging strong community health. The Hockomock Y was proud to present the Franklin Food Pantry with the Red Triangle Award, and we look forward to a continued, prosperous partnership in the years to come.
About Hockomock Area YMCA:
Where Cause Meets Community. At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility.
Our YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities we are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information visit hockymca.org.