By Udi Onyile, Maryland

CONA truly forms relationships that can last for a lifetime. Just ask Griffin Gibson, a delegate from Texas, whose brother was a CONA delegate in 2005. “He [Garrett] was a senior and she [Mary] was a freshman from Florida”, Gibson says. The pair met during the conference and hit it off splendidly. Through instant messaging, they were able to keep in contact. But they surprisingly ran into one another during college, in California, and later again in Washington DC. The couple married earlier this April, showing just how great the connections you make in CONA can be.

Ryan Welch, a volunteer here at CONA, was once in Garrett’s shoes. Once a part of the Alabama delegation, he met his current wife, Lucie Swain once a part of the Kentucky delegation, through CONA as well. “Bob [McGaughey] was our marriage officiate, actually,” he adds.

Trevor and Mary Catherine Person are another example of the relationships that CONA creates. Trevor, once a delegate of Minnesota, and Mary Catherine, once a delegate from Alabama, were both part of CONA in 1988 but met as POs in 1990. “During CONA, they used to say Trevor resembled David Letterman,” says a close friend of the two. In 1999, they married in Auburn, Alabama, and are currently volunteering at this year’s CONA. Garrett and Mary, Ryan and Lucie, Trevor and Mary Catherine. All are examples of how special the people you meet during your time in CONA can truly become, so be sure to take some time and mingle with people outside of your delegation. You may just find the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with! “Some information from this article was attained the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly Marriage Roster Article on the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly Blog.