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Annual Celebration

by YMCA YMCA Marketing | Apr 25, 2019

YMCA of the Capital Area hosts Annual Celebration and Volunteer Recognition

More than 270 guest and community leaders attended the YMCA of the Capital Area’s Annual Celebration, which recognized the outstanding 2018 volunteers and donors who helped advance the Y’s cause to strengthen the foundation of our community. The event themed “Creating A Better Us”, was held at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.

During the program, two Y volunteers received a special recognition. Elena Mizell received the annual Edward D. Grant Volunteerism Award. This award is given to an exemplary volunteer, in honor of Edward Grant, who was a metropolitan board chair as well as a recognized leader of volunteer service in our community for many years. Mizell has dedicated more than 530 hours of service to the YMCA’s statewide Youth and Government program and has also assumed the role as the lead volunteer for the statewide YMCA Model United Nations program. Tinisha Monroe received the annual Myron Falk Fundraising Award. This award was established in honor of Myron Falk, a longtime fundraiser in the Baton Rouge community, who believed that everyone should contribute to support the Y, even if it was just one dollar. Monroe served as the fundraising chair for the Dow Westside YMCA’s Annual Support Campaign and with her dedication and leadership, the Y successfully reached its fundraising goal.

2019 YMCA Metropolitan Board Chair, Chris Spencer, highlighted the Y’s past-year achievements in the three focus areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. In 2018, more than 7,800 youth and teens participated in afterschool, summer camp and teen programming. The Y served more than 36,000 individuals through health and wellness programs and more than 4,300 men, women and children learned to swim at the Y. An additional 14,000 youth and adults participated in sports and tennis programming. The dedication of the more than 3,700 YMCA volunteers and donors, helped raise in excess of $540,000 for the YMCA in 2018. In addition, through special events and grant funding, the Y was able to provide more than $960,000 to help underserved children, families and seniors participate in YMCA programs.  

A special highlight of the evening included the announcement of a new program coming in 2019, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. This 12-week program is designed to help cancer survivors regain their health and activity levels.  “The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program is another example of what makes the Y different.  It demonstrates our continued commitment to the community and that we are so much more than a gym”, said YMCA of the Capital Area, President/CEO, Christian Engle.

Each YMCA of the Capital Area location honored an Adult Volunteer of the Year:

Tommy Milazzo, A. C. Lewis YMCA
Jesse Moland, Americana YMCA
Herman Brister, Baranco Clark YMCA
Alvin Burton, C. B. Pennington Jr. YMCA
Donald Elliott, Charles W. Lamar Jr. YMCA
Owen Cope, Dow Westside YMCA
Gloria Jefferson, ExxonMobil YMCA
Walker Johnson, Paula G. Manship YMCA
Dr. Jeffrey Keller, Southside YMCA

A new addition to this year’s celebration was to recognize youth volunteers for their dedication and commitment to the Y and the community. This year’s Youth Volunteers of the Year recipients included:

Zoe Vilaysack, A. C. Lewis YMCA
Macheala Neal, Americana YMCA
Dealia Jones, Baranco-Clark YMCA
James Lalonde, C. B. Pennington, Jr. YMCA
Kennira Adams, Charles W. Lamar Jr. YMCA

The night ended in celebration and recognition for the generous donors, dedicated volunteers, hard-working staff and enthusiastic partners who support the Y in creating a better, stronger community, one person and one family at a time.

Click the link below to view pictures from Annual Celebration: https://orders.eyewanderphoto.com/gallery/YMCA_annualMeeting2019/

Click here to view the 2018 Annual Report

Video Testimonials: 

Bob Russell Video: https://youtu.be/arvNHYRjCXg
Cheryl Lott Video: https://youtu.be/arvNHYRjCXg
Taylor and Brandon, Christian Values Conference Video: https://youtu.be/0iB-NolWjRU
Matter of Balance, Katherine Suggs Video: https://youtu.be/-KE8481Ijpw