The Y - "so much more." That was the message driven home Thursday night at the Jamestown area YMCA's annual meeting.
Jim Kauffman, senior manager for leadership and volunteer development for the YMCA of the U.S.A., was the guest speaker at the get together, and he highlighted what makes both the local and national YMCAs great.
Kauffman said since the YMCA was formed, it has been creating stronger communities and leaders.
Mark Eckendorf, Jamestown Area YMCA CEO, honors Max Martin, Eastside YMCA branch manager, as the Employee of the Year at Thursday night’s annual meeting.
P-J photo by Mallory Diefenbach
The family of Alice and Walt Williams was honored as the YMCA’s family of the year. Also pictured are their son, Kenny; their daughter, Darlene Daversa; Alice’s great-granddaughter, Ava Fitzpatrick; Alice’s great-grandson, Jake Fitzpatrick; Alice’s great-grandson, Ryan Emley; Ava and Jake’s mother, Kendra Fitzpatrick; and Ryan’s mother, Kara Emley.
P-J photo by Mallory Diefenbach
He said the YMCA is the "best kept secret in town." It has so many programs which not only help improve the community's health, but it also gives back and helps neighbors. It helps people to value the difference in others, be more motivated to learn, build confidence and have a more positive value about themselves. It helps residents connect with other people and allow them to live longer as a result.
"It allows everybody to say 'We are all one,'" he said. "It doesn't matter how we get into this building, or what we are doing here, but we are all there. We are all the same, and we have a sense of community. A sense of belonging. And that makes a stronger community."
Kauffman said it takes a special ability to volunteer and work for the YMCA. He said it isn't like other management jobs, and the staff use their abilities and their skills to further the community. He said that it is a cause-driven leadership and community leaders at the YMCA want to be part of something positive in the community.
At the annual meeting, awards were given out to recognize those who have been an active member with the YMCA and helped make a difference in the community. They are the following:
The Bill Myott Board Member of the Year: Joelle Washer
Outstanding Teen of the Year Award (Jamestown): Jorel Melendez
Outstanding Teen of the Year Award (Onyasha): Tobi Culpepper
Outstanding Teen of the Year Award (Eastside): Casandra Howland
Outstanding Teen of the Year Award (Lakewood): Matthew Johnson
Volunteer of the Year: George Panebianco
Partner With Youth Award: E2CCB Adult and Community Education
Coach of the Year Award: Andrew Caldwell
Child Care Worker of the Year Award: Brooke Guichard
Employee of the Year: Josh Gonzales
Family of the Year: The Williams Family
Executive Director's Award: Max Martin
The Red Triangle Award: Britt Chase and Luke Brown of Tom Meyers Inc., McDonald's
Camp Onyasha Hall of Fame Award: Brad Jones
Paul B. Sullivan Life Time Service Award: Greg Smith
The YMCA also welcomed Anne Dolce, Susan McLorg Moore and Marybeth Weubbolt as incoming board members while saying goodbye to Doug Schutte, Bob Goold, Kristin Lee Yaw and Ryan Rambacher.