How a YMCA helped a Georgetown woman lose weight, get a new car
The moment was bittersweet as Rachael Pascoe stood in the cold without a jacket Friday afternoon outside the Georgetown YMCA. She was about to receive a new car, something she had been without for weeks following a tragic accident.
The sweet of the moment came from acts of determination. Over the past year, the Y had become a place of comfort for her. For the last year she had driven to the Y to work out on a mission to lose weight, lots of it. Starting out in the pool due to not being able to do work in the main gym she has lost hundreds of pounds while gaining a supportive community at the Georgetown Y.
But the bitter is how she lost her car. Over the past month, getting to the Y has been a challenge, both physically and emotionally. Three weeks prior to Friday, Pascoe’s boyfriend was in a fatal car accident while driving her car north on S.C. 51 away from Georgetown. The vehicle was totaled, leaving Pascoe, a mother of two daughters, without a car.
The family had to rely on others or walking to get to their destinations. One time Pascoe didn’t want to be an inconvenience to the person driving her to and from the Y, so she decided to walk, not wanting to lose momentum.
“Other women here ask how I keep going on,” Pascoe said. “Determination. I am determined to get healthy for my kids.”
Rodney Long, who served on the YMCA metro board, was inspired when hearing about Pascoe’s story when she was chosen to speak about her Y experience at a YMCA dinner earlier in the year.
“Her story re-energized me about the Y and our mission here,” he said.
When he heard Pascoe was without a car, Long decided he was in a position to do something about it.
The Long family had a brown SUV since 2003 nicknamed “the brown lunch bag.” Long and his kids had a goal to put 300,000 miles on the vehicle, paying to keep it operating over the time they owned it. Long’s 12year-old son wanted to keep the car running so that he could drive it when he turns 16.
But Long decided the family car was destined for a bigger, more immediate purpose — to help Pascoe have safe transportation and a good Christmas.
“I’m just thrilled to death to be in the position to help somebody,” Long said. “It wasn’t so long ago that my family was in a precarious spot, and some folks helped us along the way.”
The YMCA Coastal Carolina CEO Ryan Finney said the display of kindness shows that YMCAS are more than just a place to work out. They’re a place for people to find a community and help if they need it.
Pascoe’s daughter Elaina, 10, was there when her mom was handed the key of the family’s new car. She was reluctant to get in front of the cameras filming the exchange, but she wanted to be there for the moment her mom was given the car.
When asked by The Sun News what she thought about the new car, her answer was short.
“I’m excited. I am tired of walking.”