Family, staff honor YMCA legend turning 97 years old

Family, staff honor YMCA legend turning 97 years old

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Mankato Family YMCA celebrated one of their oldest longtime member’s 97th birthdayon Friday, honoring the legacy she’s made over the years.

Dorothy George has been active with the facility for over 50 years.

“I have lots of stories about this beautiful YMCA. I’ve always lived over here, and I could walk to the YMCA every day,” said George.

It all started over five decades ago when George became the first-ever water aerobics teacher.

“(It was) a brand-new class and it just took off, everybody loved it!” said George.

Over the years she taught swimming lessons and served as a lifeguard.

“They’re so sweet those children. I’ve watched them all grow up,” said George.

Five generations in her family have established roots within the facility.

“My boys were coaches, Darin (her son) was with “Big Brothers Big sisters (program) girls were teachers here, so we’ve just kind of evolved around the Y. It was our whole life,” said George.

“Dorothy is still here and her great, great-granddaughter goes to preschool at the same time which is pretty amazing and all of our children have a thread of the Y going through their lives,” said Dorothy’s granddaughter, Alison Troldahl.

Nowadays, you’ll find Dorothy at the YMCA three days a week, still exercising.

“She comes to water-walk or swim, she loves getting into the hot tub...but everyone knows her. Her familiarity with the facility is just so impressive,” said YMCA Member Relations Director Ashley Dahlman.

“She’s a living testimony how exercise can help the longevity of your life,” said Troldahl.

The YMCA for Dorothy is a second home where she says staff is like family.

“So many wonderful voices and people here, caring people. Just the loveliest bunch ever” said George.

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