Family Seeks Answers From YMCA After Teen’s Drowning

Photo by Christian Leonard / News-Press
Mairena and Phil Jacobs (right) organized a protest Monday in connection with the death of their son, Colin, at a YMCA of the Foothills branch, saying the tragedy was preventable.

A Glendale family spearheaded a protest outside the offices of the YMCA of the Foothills this week to demand information about their son’s drowning death at the organization’s La Crescenta facility.
Colin Jacobs, a 19-year-old USC student, died on July 1 while on duty as a summer camp counselor at the YMCA branch in La Crescenta. A longtime volunteer for the organization, he was less than two weeks away from his 20th birthday.
Now, two months later, his family and friends say the YMCA of the Foothills has yet to explain the circumstances surrounding Jacobs’ drowning, or provide any promise to change its policies, saying that better practices might have avoided the tragedy.
On Monday, about 50 people gathered with signs in front of the organization’s La Cañada Flintridge location, which was chosen because it hosts the YCMA’s administrative offices, though it is not the site where Jacobs drowned.
“It could have very easily been prevented,” Phil Jacobs said of the death of his son, adding that Colin Jacobs could have suffered a seizure in the pool. “It was a very, very senseless death to somebody who was so focused on what he wanted to do and helping others. … He was an all-around great kid. He didn’t deserve this fate.”
The tragedy was referenced in a newsletter from YMCA of the Foothills CEO Vince Iuculano that was posted on the organization’s website on July 6. The statement included few details, saying that “out of respect for the family and the ongoing investigative process with the authorities, we can only share a limited update.”
But the Glendale family, which includes Colin’s mother, Mairena, and sister, Amber, said that it did not request that the YMCA withhold information — and that in fact family members have sought more details.
Phil Jacobs explained that the family contracted an attorney to speak with the YCMA’s attorney, hoping to arrange a meeting between the family and the nonprofit organization. But then, he said, the YMCA’s representative stopped responding to emails.

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Family Seeks Answers From YMCA After Teen’s Drowning

Photo by Christian Leonard / Outlook Valley Sun
Mairena and Phil Jacobs (right) organized a protest Tuesday in connection with the death of their son, Colin, at a YMCA of the Foothills branch, saying the tragedy was preventable.

A family held a protest outside the La Cañada Flintridge branch of the YMCA of the Foothills on Tuesday to demand information about their son’s drowning at a nearby YMCA facility.
Colin Jacobs, a St. Francis High School alumnus and USC student, died on July 1; he had been working as a summer camp counselor at the YMCA branch in La Crescenta. A longtime volunteer for the organization, he was less than two weeks away from his 20th birthday.
Two months later, his family and friends say the YMCA of the Foothills has yet to explain what happened or promise any changes to its policies. About 50 people gathered with signs in front of the organization’s LCF location, which was chosen because it hosts the YCMA’s administrative offices, though it is not the site where Jacobs drowned.
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YMCA Blood Drive on May 13

With the continual need for blood, the YMCA of the Foothills will be hosting two upcoming blood drives by partnering with American Red Cross at the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA (1930 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada Flintridge). The dates are Wednesday, May 13, and June 17, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Blood Drive accepts volunteers by appointment only; spots book up quickly. Visit redcrossblood.org and use sponsor code: YMCAFoothills or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment.
For more information, visit ymcafoothills.org.

YMCA Prayer Breakfast Speaker Inspired by Reagan

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK Hundreds of people attend the annual YMCA of the Foothills prayer breakfast featuring keynote speaker Peggy Grande at the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Hundreds of people attend the annual YMCA of the Foothills prayer breakfast featuring keynote speaker Peggy Grande at the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA.

Former President Ronald Reagan was a man of “incredible faith” who did not wear his religious conviction on his sleeve and welcomed everybody, said the keynote speaker for the annual prayer breakfast at the YMCA of the Foothills. Continue reading “YMCA Prayer Breakfast Speaker Inspired by Reagan”

YMCA Sues Homeowners for Land Strip

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK YMCA of the Foothills and neighboring property owners are in a dispute over a piece of land on Foothill Boulevard. Homeowners fear loss of access to the YMCA entrance on Foothill Boulevard would force emergency vehicles to use a dirt road next to it.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
YMCA of the Foothills and neighboring property owners are in a dispute over a piece of land on Foothill Boulevard. Homeowners fear loss of access to the YMCA entrance on Foothill Boulevard would force emergency vehicles to use a dirt road next to it.

The YMCA of the Foothills is suing about two dozen neighboring property owners and a homeowners association to gain the title to a piece of land that the organization says has essentially belonged to it for decades.
The YMCA claims to be the rightful owner of the strip of land at 1930 Foothill Blvd. — near the YMCA’s Crescenta Cañada location — and seeks a jury trial, according to court documents. Continue reading “YMCA Sues Homeowners for Land Strip”

Local YMCA to Pay Tribute to Former CEO Croxen, Wife

Photo courtesy Dennis Croxen Dennis and Peggy Croxen will be honored at the invitation-only George Williams Society Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in La Cañada Flintridge.
Photo courtesy Dennis Croxen
Dennis and Peggy Croxen will be honored at the invitation-only George Williams Society Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in La Cañada Flintridge.

Dennis and Peggy Croxen have left quite an imprint on the YMCA of the Foothills.
Dennis Croxen, who once was the institution’s chief executive, advocated that a successful YMCA leads by its mission, said current CEO and President Tyler Wright.
“He has been the greatest inspiration and an impactful individual on my career,” Wright said in a phone interview. “He’s been a mentor and a friend throughout my entire career and was someone I could call up if I didn’t have an answer to a question.” Continue reading “Local YMCA to Pay Tribute to Former CEO Croxen, Wife”

YMCA Plan Receives Encouragement — and Resistance

At 65,000 square feet, a proposed expansion sought by the YMCA of the Foothills for its location in La Cañada Flintridge is a big undertaking — too big to be resolved in just one city Planning Commission session.
The commission met Tuesday night to discuss a planned expansion that would have two phases, including construction of a three-story building. The main phase of discussion Tuesday concerned construction of a parking deck above the front parking lot, and commissioners approved an adjustment in the line dividing the YMCA lot from private property next door. But eventually, they voted for a continuance of the hearing because of neighborhood disgruntlement.
There were rumblings from commissioners about technical variances, from neighbors concerning traffic congestion and residential driveways, and even from Earth itself as a 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook the room at City Hall.
“I am moved by your speech,” Commissioner Jeffrey McConnell said jokingly to John Pride, landscape architect for the Y, after the earthquake was felt during Pride’s statement to the commission.
Continue reading “YMCA Plan Receives Encouragement — and Resistance”

YMCA Shows Big Plans to Grow, Seeks City OK

Image courtesy YMCA of the Foothills YMCA of the Foothills’ expansion proposal envisions a new central community space that will include an amphitheater, tables, benches, grassy areas and trees. It could be used for children’s concerts, performances and other events.
Image courtesy YMCA of the Foothills
YMCA of the Foothills’ expansion proposal envisions a new central community space that will include an amphitheater, tables, benches, grassy areas and trees. It could be used for children’s concerts, performances and other events.

YMCA of the Foothills is forging ahead with its $7 million expansion proposal to improve and expand its interior by more than 4,000 square feet, build a new two-deck parking lot and create more accessibility to the community.
The YMCA will present its plan to the La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 28, detailing the parking lot increase and access easement from the lot to YMCA facilities, as well as its longer-term vision of creating more holistic health and social spaces for members of all ages. Continue reading “YMCA Shows Big Plans to Grow, Seeks City OK”

Council Spells Out City Budget Plans

During two sessions of budget discussions in the past week, La Cañada Flintridge City Council members agreed to designate reserve funds in support of the proposed Sagebrush territory transfer, prepared for the possible repeal of the state gas tax, and dedicated $353,425 to support 11 community groups.
The City Council is set to finalize the budget for the coming fiscal year when it reconvenes for its third budget hearing at 8:30 a.m. today, June 28.
Councilman Jonathan Curtis suggested the city earmark $100,000 in reserves to back up La Cañada Unified School District in the latest chapter of a decades-long tug of war over the Sagebrush territory. Continue reading “Council Spells Out City Budget Plans”