A Forsyth County man was recently honored as the top YMCA volunteer for all of the metro Atlanta area.
Steve Curry has spent the past several years coaching youth soccer and basketball at the Forsyth County Family YMCA in Vickery Village.
A single dad of three, Curry said he began coaching at the insistence of his son, Joe, now 9.
“My son told me I was going to coach,” Curry said. “He said, ‘I’m playing soccer and you’re coaching.’ And I said, ‘All righty then.’”
That was about six years and Curry continues to coach youth soccer, as well as youth basketball for the local Y.
Each season, he coaches two teams, one with children 8 and younger and a second with children 10 and younger.
Phil Broome, senior sports director at the Forsyth facility, said he wasn’t surprised to learn Curry had received the volunteer of the year award.
“One of the reasons we nominated him is his willingness to always help out,” Broome said. “He will do whatever’s asked and, more importantly, he doesn’t ask for anything in return … he always goes above and beyond.”
Broome cited an example from earlier this year when staff members were lining soccer fields.
“Steve was calling, emailing daily saying, ‘Hey, can I help line fields? Can I do anything?” Broome said. “He’s so free with his time … and in today’s society when time is so precious, especially with kids, he is so willing to give.”
Curry was honored along with several metro Atlanta YMCA volunteers during a dinner earlier this month in Cobb County.
Curry said he was humbled by the recognition.
“There are so many really, really active and deserving people that are involved, so I thought, ‘Why me?’” he said, noting that he particularly enjoyed the awards dinner since he got to meet even more YMCA volunteers.
“It was like 1,500 or so really fun, cool people, all with a purpose,” he said. “They’re all seeing the need and filling it instead of waiting for somebody else to do it.”
Curry said working with youth on the teams is a joy, too.
“They come in everyday with just a ton of enthusiasm,” he said. “By the end of the work week, when I’m dealing with adults all day, every day, it’s really fun to go deal with kids whose only real ambition is just to have a good time.
“It’s just refreshing as heck. I have a ball with it.”
Broome said another of Curry’s strengths is recruiting other volunteers to help out.
One of those, Broome said, is Chris Burns, who co-coaches with Curry. “Steve does a great job of pulling in other volunteers, like Chris. They are a duo that really works well together.”
Curry encouraged anyone who may be on the fence about getting involved to “just go.”
“We need coaches, we need volunteers, we need people who want to give back and it’s not that hard,” he said. “You get more than you could ever possibly give.
“The return is enormous … so just go. It’s easy.”