Wednesday, January 16, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 45

Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on March 14th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 2 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 2

Lompoc YMCA names widow and late husband as honorary chairs


Before Jim Dixon passed away from esophageal cancer early last year, he asked his wife, Shelly, to do one thing for him.

“He made me promise I would continue to support the Lompoc YMCA,” Shelly told the Sun.

In March, Shelly and Jim were honored as the local YMCA’s honorary chairs, which represents the “essence of the Y and the commitment to the service of the community,” according to Audrey Graves, a public relations specialist with the Channel Islands YMCA, which services Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Shelly accepted the honor on behalf of her late husband.

Jim Dixon, center, passed away from cancer early in 2017. He was recently honored by the Lompoc YMCA for years of activism and service work in the community.

“I am overwhelmed and so grateful for the opportunity to keep Jim’s memory alive in the perfect way,” Shelly said.

Jim supported the Channel Islands YMCA Association since his involvement with the Lompoc Board in 1999, according to Shelly. He focused on facilities, grounds, and board development.

In February 2008, Jim served on the Channel Islands YMCA Association board of directors and in 2011, Sal Cineros, Channel Islands Association CEO, asked him to serve as the project manager for the initial phase of Lompoc Family YMCA’s capital renovation.

The renovation eventually became a $350,000 project that expanded the cardio room, created a spin room, and added new office space to Lompoc’s YMCA.

“Jim loved the Y. He believed in the mission and worked to support that mission for many years,” said Stephanie Saucedo, interim branch manager for the Lompoc Family YMCA. “He was a man who was committed to ‘be the change you want to see in the world.’”

Shelly, a supporter of Y Camp, shared her camp experience at the Lompoc Family YMCA Annual Campaign Kickoff on Feb. 15.

She said one year she took a week off work to be a volunteer camp counselor and rode the bus to the camp in Kings Canyon with more than 80 campers. There, she was in charge of a cabin, and 10 girls were assigned to her.

“We laughed, we cried, we played, we sang, we talked,” Dixon said. “And I was so touched by these girls. And I hope I helped make a difference so they left knowing how special they were.”

The Lompoc Family YMCA has a goal to raise $95,000 during the annual fundraising campaign. Every dollar raised stays in Lompoc, according to Graves. The funds provide scholarships that allow youth, families, and seniors in need access to Lompoc Family YMCA’s programs. The programs include wellness and healthy living offerings, summer day camp, after school enrichment, senior fitness, and the Livestrong cancer-survivor program.

Over the past eight years, the Lompoc Family YMCA has granted more than $750,000 in scholarships for the Lompoc community.

“The Y mission has always been in the hearts of the Dixons and their family,” Saucedo said. “The Dixons love that the Y and programs such as summer camp and after school care benefit the children, youth, and community of Lompoc.”

To make a donation to the annual campaign or in memory of Jim Dixon, visit and choose the Lompoc Family YMCA branch.

For more about the annual campaign, contact Saucedo at (805) 736-3483 or email

For more information about the Lompoc Family YMCA, visit

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