YMCA of Central Florida Honors Donors at Annual Festival of Trees Celebration
ORLANDO, FL … The YMCA of Central Florida honored Leonard Williams, Sr. as the 2011 Dr. P. Phillips Champion of Youth Award recipient for his commitment to kids, families and our community at its annual Festival of Trees Celebration. The event, which took place on November 13, provided an opportunity for the Y to thank more than 800 donors in attendance for their generous gifts that create meaningful impact in the lives of many neighbors in need across our community.
The Dr. P. Phillips Champion of Youth Award is presented to an individual or organization who demonstrates an unyielding commitment to improving the lives of children in Central Florida. For decades, Williams has supported a wide range of charitable programs and organizations like the YMCA dedicated to education, youth, community service, health and the arts. He has consistently supported the Y in its efforts to create a safe place for kids and families in underserved communities like Pine Hills at the Wayne Densch YMCA, and many others. Additionally, the Williams Family provided a major gift for the renovation of the J. Douglas Williams YMCA in Seminole County, which is now named in honor of his son.
Recent past recipients of the Champion of Youth Award include Former Orange County Mayor, Richard T. Crotty (2010), Mary Jane Arrington (2009) and the Winter Park Health Foundation (2008).
This year, 6,600 donors raised over $4.2 million in scholarship funds. This impacted over 31,500 kids, families, seniors and individuals across Central Florida. Its through generous giving each year that the Y is able to teach children to swim and be safe around the water, mentor teens and provide role models, provide a safe place for kids and families to connect, encourage seniors to stay active and social, and let kids build self esteem while discovering who they are.
“This annual event reminds us how committed the Central Florida Community is to giving and supporting those in need. We are thankful to our members, staff, volunteers and partners for their generous gifts.” stated President and CEO, James W. Ferber. “Bringing together our Y family is a sign of a strong community.”
About the Y
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2010, this YMCA Association of over 1,600 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.
Amanda Forbes, APR