May 19, 2021


by Kelly Thompson

If Warlick Family YMCA Could Talk

If Buildings Could Talk is a podcast that explores the untold stories behind buildings in Charlotte and how the design of these spaces impacts the lives of individuals and the success of our city. The podcast is part of the Queen City Podcast Network.  Subscribe now and listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts. We’re excited to have you join us!

A small group of lifelong friends grew up swimming together in a nearby lake and playing high school football as teammates. Many years later, as business and community leaders, they spearheaded the largest fundraising effort ever mounted in their county to bring a symbol of community progress and hope on that same site where they once swam together. In this episode of If Buildings Could Talk, we focus on the story of the Warlick Family YMCA, a place of fellowship that has helped revitalize Gaston County, NC. Andy Warlick, board member of the YMCA and the lead donor on the project, joins our conversation as well as Michelle Bowers, Executive Director of the Warlick YMCA and Carolyn Dewalt, a retired Gaston County educator and Warlick YMCA enthusiast. They, along with Tomas Eliaeson, Little’s lead designer for the project, tell us how this facility and its 100+ acres has tripled membership and become a community hub that goes well beyond traditional expectations.


Kelly Thompson

Beginning her communications career in television broadcasting, Kelly ditched the idea of fame and fortune – but remains convinced that fortune will come from her occasional purchase of a lottery ticket. A member of Little’s marketing team and mom of three tykes, Kelly is known to put on a toe tapping, finger snapping clogging performance when the empty soda cans wedged on her feet fit just right.

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