Phillips made our city a better place

Published 3:05 pm Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It’s hard to imagine the Greenville YMCA without Amanda Phillips.

I can remember when I joined the YMCA as a high school student she was already on her way to becoming the face of the YMCA. At the time, she was working as a front desk secretary, and every time I walked through the front doors of the building, she greeted me with a smile. She did that for everyone that came through those doors.

That didn’t change as she worked her way up the ranks, eventually earning the title of executive director in 2003. If you had walked through the doors last Friday, Phillips’ final day as the YMCA’s executive director, she would have flashed you that same smile.

Email newsletter signup

Phillips passed away Sunday.

She was just 54 years old.

Phillips’ passing is a great loss for our community.

I know that’s something people always say whenever someone passes away, but if it’s ever been true, it’s true of Phillips.

She was committed to making Greenville and Butler County a better place by investing in the people that she came across on a daily basis. Most of those people weren’t tall enough to ride a rollercoaster. Phillips would come down on their level, smile at them, and then wrap them up in a big hug.

You didn’t have to be around her long to know that she loved children, and not just the well-behaved children that are easy to love. She loved the difficult ones as well, and could see the good in them. She’d love on them until others were able to see the good too.

She drove countless miles and spent many hours traveling around the state to cheer on the YMCA’s football teams. If that sounds like something a parent would do, it should. She called the players “her boys.”

She loved the YMCA because she loved what it stands for. The YMCA’s mission is to help people and communities to learn, grow and thrive.

That was Phillips’ mission too, and she labored to make it a reality.

Greenville is a better place because Amanda Phillips called it home.

She will be missed.