Luke is in grandfather, Cheung’s arms, safe and warm with a look of delight on his face. The same look of delight is on Cheung’s face, and you don’t need to know these two to know what a special relationship they have. It is apparent upon meeting them.
Cheung-Foo, nickname Willy, better known as Kong Kong (grandpa in Chinese) was born and raised in China. After finishing college in the Philippines, studying Electronics Engineering with a degree in Business, he obtained a Master’s in Mathematics Education. He has spent more than 30 years in the U.S. in varying careers as a business owner, assistant controller, and as a recently retired/tenured New York City High School math teacher. In addition, he has traveled the world; Egypt, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and throughout the U.S. But the number one activity that gives him the most satisfaction and keeps him constantly busy is being with 20-month old Luke. “We both like being out and about, I take him everywhere with me and he’s always happy to come along.”
When Cheung and Luke enter the Y, nobody at the Front Desk can suppress a smile. It has become routine to engage Luke in banter, and although he will not be two until April, he surprises all of us with his charm and knowledge.
If we were to ask, “Luke, where does the President live?”
Luke answers, “The White House.”
“Is that Washington state or D.C.?”
And, with an added sly laugh, he says “DC.” His grandfather shares his same sense of humor.
The Y has been a terrific outlet for them. Cheung tells me that being with Luke makes him lively and “the Y has given [them] a place where [they] both can be free to enjoy what life has to offer.” They especially love to swim together.
To end on a perfect anecdote – the other day, playing in the warm pool, one of our Lifeguards saw Luke sipping the pool water. He asked him not to. Later that evening at the dinner table, Kong Kong asked Luke to recap what he did at the Y that day. Luke thought seriously for a moment and with a mischievous grin, said, “Luke drank the water!” They all enjoyed a chuckle and resumed eating dinner.
It is nice to know that the experiences and lessons learned at the Y extend into the privacy of the home…so, from our Y Family to yours, we are so happy to be a part of your lives.
Every day, in thousands of places, each Y is serving a different us. In times of crisis, in times of need, and sometimes, just because.
Members like Cheung and Luke are committed to working together to strengthen our community and help build a better us.
The Y. For a better us.
Profile written by Midge Deverin, Membership Engagement.