Celebrating Excellence

Highlights from YMCA's 145th Annual Meeting and Awards Celebration
Jack Fucci with Josh Downes and youth award winners
May 16, 2024

As the month of May unfolds, the air is filled with a palpable sense of celebration at the YMCA's 145th Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony, held this year on May 16th. With a rich history spanning over a century, the YMCA has continuously embodied the spirit of community, service, and excellence. This year's event was no exception, serving as a reminder of the impactful work being done within the organization and beyond. 

View event photos on our Facebook album, here.

Honoring Commitment: A Community of Support

Volunteers are the backbone of any nonprofit organization, and the YMCA is no exception. Our community awards honor those whose selfless dedication and tireless efforts have had a profound impact on the YMCA and the lives it touches. Among the honorees were: 

  • Matthew Pini: The Ken Billings-Frank O'Halloran Award. Honors and recognizes an extraordinary member who has made a long-term commitment to our Y and whose caring influence has helped shape others in a positive way. To honor both Ken Billings and Frank O’Halloran and their legacies, the Y recognizes a long-term adult member or volunteer who demonstrates the personal qualities so characteristic of these two gentlemen, who cumulatively represent over 120 years of membership. 
  • Susan Paley: Community Partner Award. While every Community Partner and Supporter is valued beyond measure, the WSYMCA annually recognizes one partner that demonstrates the qualities that have enabled the West Suburban Y to deliver community strengthening programs and services over the past year. Nominees are supporters in all ways up to and including: volunteerism, in-kind support, expertise, capital campaign support, annual campaign support and advocacy. 
  • YMCA of the USA Honor Roll Recipients: The Y-USA Honor Roll recognizes the generous cumulative contributions of individuals and families who have significantly helped the Y ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the ability to learn, grow, and thrive through Y membership and programs. We are grateful for their commitment to advancing our mission. 
    • The Angino Family 
    • Bob & Laurette Bachman 
    • Melora & Andrew Balson 
    • The Davis Family 
    • Karen DiGiovanni 
    • Paul Edgerley 
    • Christopher Gaffney 
    • David Humphrey 
    • Steve & Betsy Kendall 
    • Michael Krupka 
    • Matthew Levin 
    • Richard Mallon 
    • Ned Morse 
    • Donald & Victoria Sullivan 
    • The Sundram Family 
    • Ellen Williams
  • Olivia Maddams: Teen Citizen Award. Honors a teenager who actively demonstrates the Y’s core values – caring, honesty, respect and responsibility – at our Y, as well as at home, in school, and in the community.
  • Santino Molina & Noah Waldeck: Youth Award. Given to a youth member or program participant between the ages of 10 and 17 who exemplifies the YMCA’s vision of building strong spirit, mind, and body in their experiences and activities.
  • James Morrison & Melissa Starr: Adult Volunteer Award. Recognizes outstanding YMCA volunteers. This award acknowledges individuals that selflessly volunteer for the Y and instill our mission and values into their work and daily life.

Honoring Excellence: A Time of Recognition 

At the heart of the event were the prestigious staff awards, recognizing the exceptional individuals whose dedication and passion have propelled the YMCA's mission forward. Among the honorees were: 

  • Krissy Munroe: Commitment to Excellence Award. Recognizes Y staff members who have continuously demonstrated outstanding achievement, skills, and commitment to excellence in fulfilling the critical duties related to their position. The individuals receiving this award demonstrate a positive attitude and/or behavior admired and valued by their colleagues.
  • Becca Lozinsky: Living Our Cause Award. Recognizes an employee’s outstanding individual accomplishments that make an exemplary contribution to our Y through their demonstration or development of new practices, techniques, or programs which support a commitment to strengthening communities and building relationships encompassing all three areas of focus: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. 
  • Revathy (Rev) Mahendra-Rajah: Bob Groden Employee of the Year. The Bob Groden Y Employee of the Year Award was established by Ned Morse and his family shortly after the tragic death of Bob Groden in 1998. The Morse family chose to honor Mr. Groden for his commitment to the YMCA’s youth and sport departments and to create an award that recognizes a committed and exemplary YMCA employee. 

Staff Milestone Anniversaries

We are proud to celebrate our full- and part-time staff who have reached different years of service milestones over the last year. We are truly grateful for their dedication to the Y and our mission! 

15 YEARS Heidi Bassin, Vladimir Ivanin, Laura Snow 
10 YEARS Beth Langston, Andrea Newman, Nicole Von Rekowsky
5 YEARS Andrew Chung, Ronald Cohen, Emily Flynn, Ryan Juliano, Raman Magay, Krissy Munroe, Andrea Osterloh, Alisha Stadnicki

Looking Ahead: Towards a Brighter Future 

As the festivities drew to a close, there was a sense of optimism and renewed purpose in the air. The YMCA's 145th Annual Meeting and Awards Celebration may have been an event to honor the past, but it was also a springboard towards the future. Armed with a renewed sense of purpose and a deepened commitment to their mission, attendees departed with a shared determination to continue building upon the YMCA's rich legacy of service and excellence. 

The Annual Meeting and Awards Celebration was not just a reflection of the YMCA's storied history, but a testament to its enduring relevance and vitality in an ever-changing world. As the organization looks ahead to the next 145 years and beyond, one thing remains certain: the YMCA will continue to be a beacon of hope, inspiration, and community for all.

View event photos on our Facebook album, here.