Michael E.

Tacoma Center YMCA

As a Tacoma-native born and raised, Michael says he loves this place he calls home.

“I was born at St. Joseph’s hospital, right up the hill, and adopted at a young age.”

Growing up, Michael says he never knew his birth parents, but he was blessed by great adoptive parents who loved and raised him as their own. As a teenager, his life took a detrimental turn as he got caught up in drugs and alcohol. It was then that Michael says he found the Lord and used the bible as a tool to encourage himself and others to stay clean. Michael is celebrating twenty five years clean and sober this month and says it’s all because of the supportive friends he has met at the YMCA and his faith in God.

“I love the people at the Tacoma Center YMCA,” said Michael. You may know him for the legendary fist bumps he gives out to staff or members after finishing a long walk on the treadmill or tough swim.

“The YMCA is part of my routine, just like [Alcoholics Anonymous] is part of my life. I know when I come here, I am setting myself up to be successful.”

Michael volunteers at the Y and the Holy Rosary Church. He is also a proud sponsor of other friends in AA currently. He says he loves the remodeled facility here at Tacoma Center and is determined to live his life by example and encourage those around him who may be struggling with addiction.