YMCA Stories

June 07, 2012

A Legacy of Giving: the Love family

For Frank Love, the Syracuse YMCA embodied the power of community, providing the support young men needed to thrive.

For his granddaughter, Paula Mallory Engel, the YMCA of Greater Syracuse is a crucial community resource, providing shelter and services for our neediest neighbors while also helping families grow stronger.

Both Frank and Paula acted on their convictions, donating time and money to ensure that our YMCA has the resources needed to deliver on our promise of strengthening community.

From 1947 to 1957, Frank served as president of the Syracuse YMCA Board of Trustees, leading efforts to raise the money to renovate and expand our downtown branch. In 1992, Paula served on the same board and this year she became a Y Partners campaigner, an experience that reconnected her with her grandfather’s passionate support for the Y.

“It’s really been an opportunity to dive into the concept with my friends about why this is such an important asset in our community and why we need to support it,” Paula said of Y Partners.

Frank saw the power of community early and often. Born into humble circumstances, he and his 10 brothers relied on each other to get through. Growing up in Mexico, N.Y., they started working at a shoe factory at a young age, walking four miles together each way. As a soldier during World War I, Frank again relied on the help of others as he recovered from a severe head wound.

“He just grew up surrounded by men who contributed to each other, sustained each other and supported each other through difficult times,” Paula said. “He carried that belief in the importance of community among men and boys his entire life.”

Paula grew up in Long Island, but she was steeped in the values of the YMCA from a young age, thanks in part to her grandfather. He and his wife, Winifred, sent their only child, also named Winifred, to a camp for girls founded by one of America’s earliest YMCA leaders. A generation later, Winifred sent Paula to the same camp for eight weeks every summer.

After completing law school at Syracuse University, Paula settled here in 1992 and joined our Metro Board. She stepped down with the arrival of her children, but reconnected with the YMCA in 2005.

“We were members of the East Y as soon as it opened,” she said. “It’s just an incredible facility.”

Although she and her family used the East Area Family Y and Camp Iroquois regularly, she developed a new appreciation for the Y when she became chief welfare attorney for the Onondaga County Department of Social Services. Her office identifies adults in need of services, including the elderly, the homeless and the mentally ill. Often, she said, the service they need is the kind of housing the YMCA provides at our Downtown Men’s Residence and Downtown Senior Center.

“Coming back and being more involved in the Y just meshes with the work I do as a professional,” she said. “The Y is this wonderful resource. We can’t take it for granted.”


The Heritage Club of the YMCA of Greater Syracuse honors men and women who have made a long-term commitment to strengthening the community through the YMCA. Frank and Winifred Love became Heritage Club members by naming the Y in their estate plans. You can also become a member by making a meaningful contribution to the YMCA Endowment Fund. To learn more about the Heritage Club, please contact Chief Development Officer Elizabeth Quilter at 474-6851, ext. 326.

Filed under Social Services
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to civen@syracuseymca.org.