Cumberland Times-News

Local News

May 19, 2013

Family has strong ties to local YMCA

Matriarch hopes to continue intergenerational tradition that includes teaching, lifeguarding

CUMBERLAND — Vickie Murray Aman has been working at the Riverside YMCA for the past 44 years. She is the matriarch of a family who has had a longstanding relationship with the local Y.

Vickie’s brother, Jack Murray, brought her into the YMCA family. Murray worked at the YMCA from 1967 to 1973 before leaving to go to chiropractor school. His sister joined the YMCA staff in 1969.

Murray started by teaching swim lessons because he was a member of the swim team as a child. He also taught life-saving classes, gym classes on Saturday mornings, and even worked as a janitor to earn more money for school. Murray coached the youth swim team for a year.

Murray said that being around the water as a youth really encouraged him and his sister to help others learn to swim and that “watching the satisfaction of kids learning to swim the length of the pool” was one of the best parts of working at the YMCA.

Swimming lessons are beneficial to young kids because it gives them structure, teaches skills on water safety and “if they can learn to swim in 10 feet, then they can avoid drowning situations,” he said.

Over the years, working together at the YMCA has really strengthened the family’s bonds and relationships, according to Aman. She said they are a very tight-knit family that has so much in common, and that they love sharing stories with one another and are always willing to help each other in any given situation.

Aman said the most fulfilling part of her job is seeing the progress of the swimmers she has taught over the years and what they’re able to accomplish. She said that some people, older folks especially, have the desire to learn to swim on their bucket list and that “seeing their faces when they learn how to is a great feeling.”

The YMCA is a great place to work because it teaches responsibility, and teaching others is a very rewarding job, Aman said.

Her daughter, Tricia Witt, taught CPR and first aid at the YMCA for several years before going to work as a respiratory therapist in Winchester, Va. Witt said that she grew up spending a lot of time at the old YMCA, and between her family ties and the benefits of the organization, she really felt that it was a great place to work.

The YMCA is beneficial to the youth of Cumberland because “it helps kids meet new friends, keeps them busy and helps keep their mind on other things,” Witt said.

She said the best feeling was being able to teach skills to kids that they can use in real world situations. She cited an example of how one of her CPR students helped save a man who was struggling in the water at Rocky Gap State Park.

Aman’s two nieces, Anna Murray Stewart and Jamie Murray Bailey, also worked as lifeguards for several years before moving on to other jobs. Her 16-year-old grandson, Logan O’Brien, is currently a lifeguard at the YMCA and teaches swim lessons just like his grandmother.

Vickie’s 13-year-old granddaughter appears to be next in line to keep the family tradition going as she has already expressed interest in being a lifeguard, according to Aman. She currently helps her grandma teach swimming lessons from time to time.

The relationship and family bond between the YMCA and Aman’s family is very unique and she hopes to keep the tradition going as long as possible.

Text Only
Local News
  • Overturned tanker upsets Oakland Overturned tanker upsets Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large commercial wreckers were being used at mid-afternoon Wednesday to upright a tanker full of liquid propane that overturned several hours earlier in downtown Oakland and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CODY EVERSOLE Eversole named 2014 Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.
    The award is presented to an outstanding male student-athlete in each year’s senior class.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • South Cumberland home rebuilt after fire South Cumberland home rebuilt after fire

    CUMBERLAND — A South Cumberland home destroyed by fire last July was given a second chance recently after the owner decided he wanted to remain a part of the neighborhood and had his house rebuilt.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • School vaccination requirements change

    April 17, 2014

  • Mineral BOE gives $18K to library

    KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to give the Keyser-Mineral County Public Library $18,000 for fiscal 2015 and to give the Piedmont library an additional $1,000 out of carryover funds.

    April 16, 2014

  • The Eichhorn family Local family says hosting New York City children in summer is ‘wonderful experience’

    CUMBERLAND — Sonya and Christopher Morgan of Cumberland always planned on a hosting a child through The Fresh Air Fund Volunteer Host Family Program. “Christopher always said once we had kids of our own we were going to do it. When our son turned 6 we said, ‘OK, let’s do it,’” said Sonya.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 16, 2014

  • Report: High-quality child care lacking in West Virginia

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Child care programs of minimum or unrated quality are watching over about 93 percent of West Virginia children enrolled in them, a report released Wednesday said.

    April 16, 2014

  • JIM HINEBAUGH Hinebaugh seeks Garrett County commissioner post

    Jim Hinebaugh recently announced his candidacy for Garrett County commissioner. A Garrett County native and lifelong Republican, Hinebaugh graduated from Southern High School and attended Frostburg State University before entering the U.S. Army via the draft. After serving as an enlisted member, Hinebaugh completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He retired as a colonel/06 in 1995 with almost 29 years of service including eight years overseas.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
News related video