The other day I was sitting on a bench and felt a deep sense of appreciation. I noticed a Skagit Transit bus parked at the entrance to the new YMCA.

What triggered my response was watching an elderly lady with disabilities being supported onto the bus by a caring bus driver. My appreciation was, in part, not only to the kindness of the driver but also for the wisdom and generosity of our people for providing a county-wide transit system.

The other part of my appreciation was for the amazing new YMCA facility. If you haven’t seen this facility, you will be more than impressed. It is the result of years of both private and public funds and hard work.

It is one of the best examples of how both private and public funds can work together to benefit the wholeness of our Skagit Valley community. Inside you will notice an array of activities — children taking swimming lessons and seniors taking gentle yoga. There are programs for all fitness levels. As a 78-year-old, I often take a morning class, with a qualified instructor, working on cardio, flexibility and balance and in the afternoon I have fun playing pickleball.

Tour this blessing to our community to feel a great sense of pride. It is a great example of how a social democracy works to benefit the whole.

I am grateful to all those who have worked to diligently to see the fruition of this dream and to both our governmental communities, who contribute public funds and to those individuals and businesses that donate private funds.

The generosity of our people always amazes me.

Hal Pull

Mount Vernon

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