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Community News: Southwest

CRENSHAW : YWCA Loses Leader; New Agency Gains

April 04, 1993|ERIN J. AUBRY

After four years as director of the Angeles Mesa YWCA, D'Ann Morris has resigned to become executive director of Christmas in April, a nonprofit program that renovates homes for senior citizens, the disabled and low-income people.

Morris brought several new programs to the YWCA, including the Teen Club, peer counseling, swim team and day camp for children on vacation from school. She recruited a steady stream of volunteers, ranging from parents to instructors of unusual classes such as Afro-Brazilian martial arts.

Morris also made the Angeles Mesa branch more profitable than it had been in its 24-year history. In her first six months, the branch generated $10,000 more than it had made in 10 years, said Darnell Pinkard, chief operating officer of the YWCA of Greater Central Los Angeles.

"She really recognized the need to involve the youth, and their families," Pinkard said. "She was also a positive force with her colleagues."

During a farewell reception, friends paid tribute to Morris through words, song and dance. Highlights included an original rap and dance created by the teen-agers who became involved with the YWCA through Morris' encouragement.

"It's been a real rewarding experience," Morris said. "What I'll miss most are the kids and teens, the smiles on their faces. But I'll still be in the community I grew up in. I'll still be giving something back."

Christmas in April, a national organization, will begin its new Los Angeles chapter under Morris' leadership. Every April, the program provides needy people with roofing, electrical and plastering work, gardening services and painting.

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