Last week a group of about 130 Y volunteers, partners, friends and associates gathered for the Y’s annual meeting, an evening of fellowship and friendship at Evergreen House on the campus of Loyola University. It was a chance to celebrate key accomplishments and recognize the many individuals and organizations whose partnership and support are vital to the accomplishment of our mission.
The evening began with Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland’s 3rd District, an active Y member and Board volunteer, who recounted some of milestone events of the last 12 months including these:
- The opening of the beautiful new 80,000 square foot Y in Pasadena which enables over 12,000 families, kids, individuals and senior adults stay healthy & active together;
- The expansion of Y Head Start into Anne Arundel County helping us to now reach over 1,600 young children and families at the lowest end of income scale;
- The addition to B’More Fit programming to bring exercise to the classroom;
- With the help of PNC and McCormick Flavor for Life, the launching of “Y on the Fly,” a mobile program bringing fitness and nutrition directly to under-served neighborhoods throughout Baltimore all summer long;
- The integration of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, to be called “Big Brothers Big Sisters at the Y,” serving over 600 mentors and mentees, a vitally important program which helps assure vulnerable kids get the mentoring support they deserve and need;
Congressman Sarbanes also pointed out that all this is just a fraction of what we’ve achieved together in only the last year, but it is an indicator of just how broad and deep our impact is.
He also introduced a special new video linked here which is a tribute to all of you. Take a look. I think you will be proud: A Better Us
Y Board volunteers Tom Brandt and Bonnie Phipps (current and past board chairs, respectively) then took the stage to announce exciting new plans to re-invest in Baltimore’s future by deepening the Y’s presence in the city and enabling even more people to thrive and succeed. Tom and Bonnie will be joined by our friend and longtime Y supporter Orioles Centerfielder Adam Jones as tri-chairs of the Y’s Baltimore Mission Expansion Campaign. The campaign focuses on structural upgrades and expansion as well as strengthening of youth programs at the existing Weinberg Y in Waverly and the Y in Druid Hill, along with a proposed new Y at the site of the old Cardinal Gibbons High School in Southwest Baltimore, where we are privileged to already run sports programming on the beautiful new Babe Ruth field built by our friends at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
Tom and Bonnie pointed out that continued investment in Baltimore today will pay dividends in the quality of life in the city and throughout the entire Central Maryland region for generations to come.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, we also used the night to honor some very special volunteers and one very special Y associate. Those being honored for their service to our cause and the awards they received were:
- Rich Rapuano (Association Board) – Volunteer Most Instrumental in Supporting Positive Change for a Stronger Future
- Season Voelker (Harford County Community Leadership Board) – Outstanding Community Outreach and Engagement Award
- Dr. Sallie Rixey (Association Board) – Outstanding Community Outreach and Engagement Award
- Anne Healy (Towson Community Leadership Board) – Outstanding Community Board Leadership Award
- Donna Wilson (Association Board) – Instrumental in Supporting the Y’s Critical Mission Award
- John Sarbanes (Association Board) – Instrumental in Supporting the Y’s Critical Mission Award
- Dr. Mary McComas (The Office of Fine Arts and Social Sciences, Baltimore County Public Schools, Y Community School Funder) – Outstanding Partnership Award
- Abbey Campbell (Principal, Owings Mills High School, Y Community School) – Outstanding Partnership Award
- Lori Robinson, McCormick & Co. – Outstanding Partnership Award
- Dave Vahos, BGE (Association Board) – Outstanding Partnership Award
- Liz Bushman (Badges for Baseball volunteer) – Outstanding Program Volunteerism
- The Togetherhood Volunteers at the Druid Hill Y (Represented by Y member Bonnie Hamilton and Y associate Archie Cumberbatch) – Outstanding Program Volunteerism
- Alan Cason (Association Board) – Geraldine Young Distinguished Service to Youth
- Tom Brandt, Jr. (Association Board) – Mitch Halbrich Fellowship Award (honoring the memory of our friend and past board volunteer, Mitch Halbrich; we were delighted to be joined by his daughter – and former Y associate – Kristen Halbrich along with his longtime partner Shelly Landsman)
- Michelle Becote-Jackson (SVP, Youth Development & Social Responsibility) – Bob Brosmer Leadership Award (this award is given every year to the Y associate who best demonstrates the leadership qualities and values our friend and former COO Bob Brosmer is known for)
Many thanks to all, too many to name, for making the night a success and the past year full of so many accomplishments which strengthen our ability to bring our charitable mission to more people to help improve the quality of life for all.
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland