Dear Friends of the YMCA:
It has been a very busy time at your YMCA with the wrap-up of our final fundraising event for the year – The George E. Smith Fire Truck Pull – re-introducing the very popular Teen Night, onboarding some enthusiastic new staff and more.
On behalf of all of us here at your Y, I am sending you our heartfelt thanks for helping to make our fundraising campaign such a success! It may sound trite, but we truly can’t do what we do without you. Each time I begin a message with “dear friends,” I mean that sincerely. We consider you to be part of our Y family – some of you supporting quietly, and some taking leadership roles, but all helping us advance the mission of the Y in building stronger, more resilient communities.
Congratulations to our partners and friends who were recently recognized at the Brockville Chamber of Commerce Gala, particularly our long-standing and major donors, Margaret Hudson who was awarded Businessperson of the Year and Northern Cables, which was recognized as Business of the Year. We are very honoured to be in your company and humbled that you have chosen your YMCA as an organization worthy of your time and efforts.
The financial goal for the fire truck pull was $100,000, not only a record, but a far cry from the first event that took place eight years ago with one-and-a-half teams! Our event chair, Ian McFall, campaign chair, Mary Mansworth, the Hudson family, the Smith family and all our sponsors and participants have helped to make this event so successful and so much fun! We hope to see you out at next year’s event!
We are also thrilled to re-launch Teen Night, which was temporarily suspended due to Covid. The first evening was held last Friday and about 50 teens attended – an encouraging level of participation for the first night. We saw many familiar faces from previous Teen Nights and some new ones too. The weekly event gives teens a safe space to gather with friends, to swim, play video games, take part in other activities or just hang out. Thanks to the United Way Leeds and Grenville for its support of area teens and to Brockville Hyundai for once more providing pizza for the kids. For some teens, this is their first meal of the day, so this financial support is critical.
As I write this, we are about to launch this year’s nominations for the YMCA Peace Medal. In keeping with this year’s International Day of Peace theme of “End racism. Build peace,” YMCA Peace Week 2022 focuses on developing an anti-racist lens to understand conflicts taking place around the globe. This year’s theme will continue to inspire our work throughout the year. During YMCA Peace Week, we honour those at the forefront of these peace-building efforts and encourage you to ask yourselves how you can bring change to our communities.
It’s important that we work together to create peaceful communities where everyone feels that they belong, By celebrating YMCA Peace Week together, we are taking a stand and creating the future we want for our community, country, and world.
I invite you to visit our webpage and nominate a peacemaker working to end racism.
Finally, I wish to congratulate all of the candidates in our region who were elected in Monday’s municipal elections. I look forward to advancing the partnerships and work we have started with them to continue to strengthen our communities.
CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario