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YMCA Annual Celebration

by Kristen Hogan | May 29, 2018

On Tuesday, May 22, the YMCA of the Capital Area held its Annual Celebration and Volunteer Recognition honoring the many individuals who have helped the Y serve the needs of the Baton Rouge community.

The event, presided over by Metro Board Chair, Edmund Giering and YMCA of the Capital Area President/CEO, Christian Engle, was held at the Crowne Plaza. The Y spotlighted the programs and opportunities they provide and, most importantly, gave thanks to the volunteers that truly help make “a better us.”

Guests enjoyed dinner, fellowship and testimonials from members and program participants. This year the Y also recognized several individuals who have dedicated their time and efforts to helping the Y. Awards for Branch Volunteer of the Year were given to:

Jeff Sowa, Americana YMCA
Pastor Joseph Moore, A. C. Lewis YMCA
Zanetta Denise Bennett, Baranco-Clark YMCA
Colette Dean, C. B. Pennington, Jr. YMCA
Rowdy Gaudet, Charles W. Lamar, Jr. YMCA
Taesia Shello, Dow Westside YMCA
Annie Clark, ExxonMobil YMCA
Kenneth Kossow, Paula G. Manship YMCA
Sondra Pilgreen, Southside YMCA

This past year alone the Y supported 10,589 youth through YMCA youth sports, childcare and teen programs. The Y also provided 43,538 health and wellness programs for people in the community. The Y’s Annual Community Support Campaign provided approximately $650,665 in financial assistance to individuals and families in need and helped serve 8,371 individuals through the Y’s Homeless Outreach program. The Y is thankful for the efforts of the 1,640 individuals who volunteered their time, along with the 2,072 generous donors for supporting the Y’s mission.

Awards were also given out to outstanding YMCA volunteers. The Myron Falk Fundraising Award was presented to Ryan Engquist for his dedication and commitment to the Beyond the Green golf tournament, the Taste of Zachary event and the Y’s annual campaign. In total, Ryan raised over $23,000 for the YMCA. Ricky Blanton received the Edward D. Grant Volunteerism Award for his consistent advocacy for the YMCA of the Capital Area. As a board member, youth sports coach and donor, Ricky embodies the mission of the Y each and every day.

The night ended in celebration for the many programs and opportunities the Y provides now and will be able to provide in the future thanks to the support of the members, participants, donors and volunteers at the YMCA of the Capital Area.