Whether it’s cracking jokes or serving up a friendly greeting, volunteer Brian Mason is known for his ability to lift people’s spirits at the East Pasco Family YMCA in Zephyrhills.
His jovial demeanor and friendly approach draws attention — so much so that Mason was named the local branch’s “Volunteer of the Year” for the second straight year.
The 50-year-old Land O’ Lakes resident has been volunteering with the nonprofit organization for about five years.
He began volunteering at the New Tampa YMCA before moving to the East Pasco facility.
Mason can be seen Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the branch — helping out at the front desk, scanning membership cards and greeting all those entering.
When it comes to the role, Mason goes above and beyond, said Ryan Pratt, East Pasco YMCA’s membership and wellness experience director.
The first thing members and staff notice about Mason is his beaming smile and upbeat nature, the supervisor said.
Pratt said Mason is “always happy. Super excited to be here.”
He added that he “never has a bad day.”
“A member may come in or even a staff member might not be having the best day, and you can’t help but laugh when Brian’s around, and smiling because of his presence, so we’re lucky to have him,” he said.
YMCA regulars can’t help but get to know Mason well, Pratt said.
He almost always has a prepared joke or some sort of innocent hijinks at the ready, he said.
For instance, he’ll pretend someone isn’t a member anymore, in a good-natured way.
“He’s got a great sense of humor and he has a lot of fun and just brightens up everyone’s day,” he said.
Mason’s volunteer contribution officially was recognized at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA’s annual Community Impact Award dinner ceremony held recently at Pepin’s Hospitality Centre in Tampa.
He was one of 13 volunteers honored at the event — which attracted more than 500 guests.
Pratt, who chauffeured Mason to the ceremony, noted the award winner was quite popular throughout the night’s festivities.
“He was a hit at the table we were at,” Pratt said. “The gentleman who I introduced him, too, was just over the top impressed with him and super excited to see him win this award, so he was a hit for the night, I would say for sure.”
Mason said he “felt good” to again earn volunteer of the year honors.
His passion for volunteerism comes from his joy of being around people — particularly the members, staff and entire YMCA community.
“They’re nice people,” he said.
For information on the East Pasco Family YMCA, call (813) 780-9622, or visit tampaymca.org/locations/east-pasco-family-ymca.
Published April 08, 2020