Frost Valley YMCA celebrated the completion of its new Blum House building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 6. The building is named after Eric Blum, a former volunteer, staff member, and avid supporter of Frost Valley who bequeathed, after passing away in June 2013, a significant donation specifically for the purpose of creating a new building for staff.

The Blum House was designed with sustainable building practices and has been funded by the charitable contributions of Blum’s friends and family. His vision was to provide a comfortable place for Frost Valley employees to relax, communicate with family back home, and enjoy games and conversation during their downtime. Thanks to donor contributions, along with Blum’s gift, the Blum House features a game room, a common room, a dining area, lockers, and Internet access so that staff members can stay in touch with loved ones via video chat and e-mail.

In March, a time capsule was placed within the building’s walls, containing photos and personal mementos donated by Blum’s family, articles written by Blum, a copy of a recent Frost Valley donor newsletter, Frost Valley’s 2013 Annual Report, a letter from CEO Huncosky, and a few other notions. The capsule is to be opened 25 years from now, in the year 2040.

About 60 people attended the ribbon-cutting, including Frost Valley employees, board members, donors, and the family and friends of Eric Blum. Blum’s legacy was honored through the memories and stories shared about his time at Frost Valley as a nurse, volunteer, leader, and friend. Speakers included his mother June, siblings Gayle and Steve, Frost Valley CEO Jerry Huncosky, Board President Jim Vaughan, and Director of Camping Services Dan Weir. A reception with tours of the new building was held after June Blum wielded oversized scissors to cut the ribbon. Frost Valley employees were eager to utilize the new space, and kicked off its debut with a barbecue that evening. Frost Valley wishes to express many thanks to all those who donated and helped build the new Blum House.

 This article originally appeared in the Tri-Valley Townsman, June 2015

Eric Blum — former volunteer, staff member, and avid supporter of nearby Frost Valley YMCA — bequeathed, after passing away in June 2013, a significant donation to Frost Valley specifically for the purpose of creating a new space for staff. The building, soon to be known as the Blum House, is nearing completion and will provide an area for Frost Valley employees to relax and bond with one another during their downtime.

In memory of Eric Blum, and to commemorate his gift, Frost Valley CEO Jerry Huncosky joined staff members to place a time capsule within the building’s walls on Thursday, March 5. The capsule contains photos and personal mementos donated by Blum’s family, articles written by Blum, a copy of a recent Frost Valley donor newsletter, Frost Valley’s 2013 Annual Report, a letter from Huncosky, and a few other notions. The capsule is to be opened 25 years from now, in the year 2040.

The Blum House has been designed in Blum’s own vision: to provide hardworking counselors, program instructors, and other staff members with the comforts of home during their time off, since these staff members often come from far and wide to work at Frost Valley. Blum wanted to give back to staff who he felt had given him — and countless others — so many invaluable life lessons and cherished memories throughout their lives.

Staff members will soon have a new, designated place to communicate with family back home (which, for some, may be outside of this country) thanks to a specified area to stay in touch with loved ones via video chat and e-mail. This is an exciting new feature, as Internet access is often limited on camp, given Frost Valley’s commitment to encouraging guests to disconnect from technology and reconnect with one another and nature. Staff can also relax indoors when their long shifts are over with a little friendly competition in a game room, snacks in a common area, and entertainment in a comfortable setting. The building was designed with eco-conscious building practices and has been funded by the charitable contributions of Blum’s friends and family. The Blum House will be complete this spring with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to follow.

This article was originally published in the Tri-Valley Townsman, 2015.