Meet the Turnbull family – one of the YMCA’s “superhero families.” Jay and Molly Turnbull have three children, Jack, Andrew and Clara. Their roots run deep at the Springfield YMCA. Jay has been involved with the YMCA since 2001 when he took an intern job at the YMCA that turned into a full time job. Molly practically grew up at the YMCA as her mom, Sue Jackson, has been an employee at the YMCA since 1983. Whether the Turnbull family comes to the YMCA to play and have fun or whether they are here to work, one thing is certain; they understand the importance of giving their time and talent to the YMCA in support of those who can’t afford a membership or YMCA programming.
When you ask Jay why he is so involved and committed to the YMCA he says, “When I was a staff person, I witnessed first-hand the impact the YMCA has on our community. I can’t tell you how many kids wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to camp or other programs unless there were great staff and volunteers out raising money for the YMCA. I am just happy to be a part of that.”
It all started in the fall of 2001. Jay and Molly met when they were both working for the YMCA. Jay was hired as Youth Program Director where he was responsible for most of the sports programming for the YMCA. Molly was working as a counselor for the Kinder Camp program. In 2006, they were married. Shortly after, Jay was promoted to Associate Executive Director where he was responsible for all sports programs, the custodial staff, and building supervisors. He also served on both the Golf Committee and the Program Committee.
From 2006-2011 they had three children. Jack is 9, Andrew is 8 and Clara is 5. While both are employed full-time; Molly with the State of Illinois and Jay as an investment advisor for Edwards Jones, you can imagine life with three small kids can be busy, challenging and demanding. So Molly and Jay come to the YMCA to relieve some daily stress, as well as give the kids something to do. They can all be in the same building doing what they enjoy most. There is truly something for each one of them here. Molly says “It just feels like a second home here.”
Jay and Molly enjoy the many different offerings at the YMCA. Molly especially likes the Zumba classes and Jay loves the machines and weights. Jay and Molly also play in a competitive volleyball league at the YMCA. While they are playing volleyball, the boys take Karate and Clara goes to Child Watch. On the days that Clara takes gymnastics, Molly and Jay take that opportunity to get their workout in and Jack and Andrew go to the Youth Lobby. The Turnbull kids have tried almost every sport that has been offered at the YMCA and, yes, you guessed it, Jay has coached them. When you ask Jack and Andrew what they love about the YMCA, they say the Youth Lobby where they can play video games, air hockey, and hang out with kids their age. Clara plays soccer and loves to take gymnastics where she was just recently promoted to “Springer.” Clara also enjoys being in Child Watch where she gets to play with the babies.
Jay left the YMCA in 2011 but his service to the YMCA didn’t stop there. To say he has been dedicated to the YMCA would be an understatement. He has worked, volunteered, coached, raised money, and played at the YMCA. Jay has served as chair of the Golf for Kids Golf Committee and the YMCA Recreational Soccer Committee since 2011. In 2016, he was asked to serve a three-year term on the Board of Director and is currently a member of the Finance Committee.
The saying “it is better to give than to receive” is evident in this family. Jay and Molly are setting an excellent example for their children. They are like the ripple effect in that one small change can have an enormous impact. Thank you Turnbull family for all you do to make our YMCA more than a gym!