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BMy Kathi Holzschuherany have known Betsy Dippo as their faithful State Farm agent, while others are familiar withher generosity within the community. Well, Betsy retired from her insurance career after 32 years and now is an active REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper Realtors. Betsy is however, still an inspiring woman who enjoys connecting with her community.When asked where her love for community originates, Dippo says, “the YMCA!” Betsy was one of the first females to join the San Antonio YMCA, enrolling in 1965 in their summer camp for young girls. She was Betsy Tillotson back then, six years old, the daughter of a single mother, when she received a scholarship to participate in the summer fun. It was a test program by the organization that year, and Betsy remarks, “they did keep us separated from the boys and called it a Fun Club.”Betsy fondly remembers that first summer learning archery, arts & crafts, leatherworking, and pottery. But her absolute favorite days were the ones spent in the Alamo Heights swimming pool. Little Betsy would climb to the top of the 5-meter diving board, walk to the edge, and fearlessly flip into the water below.The opportunity to be the first female in the San Antonio YMCA was not lost on that little girl. She remained involved withBy Kathi HolzschuherAnew kind of public park is coming to the Stone Oak area! Classen- Steubing Ranch Community Park runs along Hardy Oak Blvd., across from Las Lomas Elementary School. So why get ex- cited about a new public park? Because this one is VERY different!Along with hiking and bike trails, ball fields, an education center, picnic areas, and restrooms, this park will feature a state-of- the-art playground to accommodate all abilities. It will be the only one of its kind in the San Antonio area, and will receive designation as a National Demonstration Site For Inclusive Play and Youth Physical Activity.Mitchell’s Landing, named for three- year-old drowning victim Mitchell Chang, is inspired by his love of pirates and play. The design is a pirate-themed playground for multigenerational play for persons with disabilities and their adaptive devices. That means a grandparent with a cane or walker can participate in activities with their grandchildren. In addition, wheelchair- accessible ramps allow all abilities to use the equipment.Tennessee manufacturer PlayCore is at work creating the custom-designed equipment that will encourage imaginative play and cognitive development. AmongBetsy Dippo at 6 years old. Photograph from local paperthe YMCA, attending camps every summer as a child. When she could, she began working as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and camp counselor-even through college at Southwest Texas State. Later she assisted with fund-raising efforts, coaching and sponsorships.When Betsy was in the position to start giving back to the community, she reflected on what she had learned from the YMCA. “I wouldn’t be where I am without the YMCA,” she says. The organization gave her an opportunity and introduced her to her life’s passion.Referencing the YMCA billboard, “Find Your Y, find your passion. Find Your Y,” Betsy says, “The YMCA gave me my passion for community.” She got to know her neighbors through lifeguarding, swim lessons, and camp counseling. She proudly boasts ofthe pieces are the Inclusive Whirl, Expression Swing, Fusion Spinner, Roller Slide, Whirlin’ Robbin, Sky Run Zip Track, In-Ground Bouncer, and Sensory Dome, all in the shadow of a beached pirate ship. In addition, a partnership with HEB resulted in the creation of Mermaid Lagoon, complete with climbing mermaid tails and a beach area designed by Mitchell’s brother, Evan.Sitting on 204 beautiful acres of north San Antonio’s premier landscape, the park will develop only 43 of them. The remaining acreage will stay natural and serve as protection for the Edward’s Aquifer. It will open in two phases, with Phase I on track for mid-summer. This phase includes trails, ball and open playfields (dedicated to non-reserved, non-league play), pavilions, restrooms, picnic areas, and 160 parking spaces-all centered around the pirate playground. Phase II, Mitchell’s Landing (the playground), is preparing to open in early 2023.Funding for this $2.1 million project has come from a range of sources; a 2017 city bond, HEB, Ancira, Bill Miller, Audi North Park, Greehey Family Foundation, San Antonio Parks and Recreation, The Law Office of Ketterman, Rowland, and Westlund, Susan Naylor Sellers, and The Mitchell Chang Foundation.Betsy Dippo (L) and Brooklyn Dippo, daughter, (R) working at Mission Valley YMCA in San Diegoteaching swim at the YMCA to babies from 6 months to seniors 65 years.Betsy Dippo continues to serve others. She addresses civic needs through partnerships with other businesses and supports local non-profits. Her recent efforts include collection drives of peanut butter, stuffed bears, socks, coats and canned goods, impacting the receiving organizations. But, she never forgets how it all began.A generous donor gave a few hundred dollars to send a little girl to summer camp. She took the opportunity and turned itJakob, grandson, working at Schertz Family YMCAinto a lifetime of involvement. “My love and dedication to the YMCA remain strong.” Betsy says with pride, “Even my kids and grandkids are involved, continuing the family tradition.”Betsy wants to thank her husband, Jim, family and her community for their support. She was awarded the 2021 Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper Hero of the Year award in March 2022.Betsy Dippo, Realtor ® with Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper can be reached at (210) 771-7729 for all your real estate needs or visit www.betsydippo.cbharper.comAcquiring the property was a joint effort of the Edward’s Aquifer Protection Program (160 acres), the 2017 bond funds (39 acres), and the City of San Antonio (5 acres). It was formerly the ranch homesteadof German immigrants, the Classen family. Later, through marriage to a member of the Steubing family, it became known as Classen-Steubing Ranch. It served as a working ranch from the 1860s to 2009.12www.stoneoakhighlights.comJune 2022

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