AJCC Member Spotlight: Nancy McLain
Interview with Nancy McLain, Awarded Stanley V. Goldin Senior of the Year Award
Nancy McClean first came to the AJCC three years ago and has become invaluable to just about every department. Her hard work and dedication earned her this year’s Stanley V. Goldin Senior of the Year award at the AJCC Annual meeting. Nancy grew up in Long Beach, went to CSULB for a degree in Physical Therapy, “and then I lived and worked in the San Fernando Valley for a good while. I lived and worked in the Central California Mountains for 20 years before moving to Northern Virginia in 1998. I came home to Long Beach to retire in November 2013. I discovered the JCC in March of 2014 while I was looking for a Tai Chi class and found not only the perfect class, but the place I wanted to spend my time. I don’t go anywhere else. The Alpert JCC is ‘my center for life.’
“I have made a world of friends here. First I started volunteering for Susan Mathieu in the Senior lunch program. I was still working part time and that was my only available day. Then I met Ronnie Levine and volunteered to help with event registrations for the Jewish Film Festival and other evening programs. One thing led to another. I went to the Women’s Weekend and met a lot more people. I volunteered for the Purim Carnival and met Gayle Ehrenberg and Shlomit Jackson and helped with their programs. When I fully retired in April of 2015, I was able to make myself available to ECE and the Federation.”
One of the places you will frequently find Nancy is in the AJCC kitchen. As she explains, “I helped in the kitchen with Maureen Lawrence’s drama show last year show, and I had never worked in a kitchen before. Now I am in the kitchen all the time! I enjoy helping with the Senior lunches and with Susan’s Happiness and Humor group. I just love it all of it.
“The energy of this place is special. I tried other places for my fitness classes, and they don’t have the energy and the positive feel that this place has. I really appreciate the multi-generational attitude and acceptance here. It keeps you young and keeps you strong. You can feel the positive energy as soon as you approach the front door.
Nancy is very modest when talking about receiving the Goldin Senior of the Year award, “I was so surprised to receive the recognition because volunteering makes me feel useful. I did not expect to be rewarded for what gives me pleasure anyway. I was very touched.”
Dr. Susan Mathieu, Senior Adult Coordinator, works closely with Nancy and adds with heartfelt enthusiasm, “It’s hard for me to imagine my position before Nancy. She anticipates what we need before we even know we need it. And she loves being here as much as we do. She inspires us.”