by LIZ ONUFER | photos by PortrArt Creations

Access for All

volunteer_edwards2Over 30 years ago, Larry and Shana Edwards moved to the then-developing community of Rancho Peñasquitos. Not long after, a new YMCA broke ground in the community, and Larry’s involvement quickly grew through his personal affiliation and commitment to serving the Rancho Family YMCA.

Larry first learned about the YMCA’s programming in 1997 when a friend told him about Adventure Guides for him and his two young daughters. The parent-child program hosts campouts and other outings. “We participated for seven years and never missed an event,” Larry said. “It was one of the best decisions I ever made as a dad.” During that time, Larry and his family made many friends, and he saw great value in volunteering for the YMCA. “It’s important that as many people as possible have access to the kinds of great experiences that the Y has given my family,” he shared.

Name: Larry Edwards
Community: Rancho Peñasquitos
Profession: VP of Product Development at PC Synergy, a software company
Family: Wife – Shana; daughters – Samantha and Sophie
Pets: Dog – Floyd; plus a cockatiel, a bunny, and two chickens
Hobbies & Interests: Travel, writing, exercise, movies, reading, designing and building stuff

volunteer_edwards4Today, Larry helps ensure those programs are available to the entire community by serving on the Board of Advisors of the Rancho Family YMCA. For the past two years, he has been the chair of the teams that fundraise at the community level for the Annual Campaign, and in this year’s Campaign he personally raised more than $11,000. This fundraising work and the generous donors guarantee that the YMCA programs are available to every community member, regardless of economic status. “Working with the Y is incredibly rewarding because I see the results right in front of me,” Larry said. “At our local branch, I’m there side by side with people from all walks of life.” Larry recently traveled to South Africa to work with the YMCA programs in some of the country’s poorest areas.

Outside of his service to the YMCA, Larry is the VP of Product Development at the software company PC Synergy. He and Shana enjoy the local hiking and biking trails, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

Name: Rancho Family YMCA
Mission: The Y is dedicated to improving the quality of human life, focusing on healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. As the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community, the Y believes strong communities are possible only when we invest in our kids, our health, and our neighbors.

volunteer_edwards1Twenty years later and Larry’s commitment to the YMCA is as strong as ever. He acknowledges the challenges of raising the money needed to support YMCA programs. “The need is urgent and growing,” he said. As one of the 3,000 YMCA volunteers throughout San Diego County, Larry encourages others to get involved. “Volunteering at the Y is not only fulfilling – it’s fun.”