ORLANDO – (May 21, 2013) – At its recent annual meeting, the YMCA of Central Florida honored the organization’s leading 2012 volunteers, donors and staff and voted in five new board members for the coming two-year term. More than 400 guests attended the event, held at the Lake Nona YMCA/Northlake Park Community School, where they helped advance the Y’s cause to strengthen the foundation of the community.
The annual John W. Sterchi Award, named for the community leader who led the 1962 capital campaign to build the Downtown Orlando YMC, was awarded to Bill Browder. A strong advocate of the Y with more than 20 years of service as a volunteer and board member, Browder is also a major donor to Marion County-based Frank DeLuca YMCA, where he is leading a capital campaign that has so far raised $4.1 million.
The 2012 Ronnie Walker Unsung Hero Award was awarded to two volunteers who reflect the spirit of a servant Y leader and have provided leadership at their local Ys for more than 10 years: Rhoda Fisher, representing the Titusville Y, has led groups of volunteers for fundraising events for more than 15 years in Brevard County. Tim Haberkamp was also honored as one of the founding board members of the Wayne Densch Y in Pine Hills, which was established in the 1990s. As a Pine Hills business owner, Haberkamp offers his talent and resources to help local families in need through the Y. He also serves on the association’s Finance Committee.
Five community leaders were elected to serve two-year terms on YMCA of Central Florida Metropolitan Board of Directors: Jim Alessandro, Senior Vice President, Distribution Marketing & Sales Planning and Development, Walt Disney World Resort; Rich Panner, Regional Vice President Southeast, Pepsi Beverages Company; Wayne Rich, Attorney, Broad and Cassel; Lynette Swinski, Vice President Merchandise, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; and, Jim Henningsen, President, College of Central Florida, Ocala.
2012 YMCA Metropolitan Board Chair Helena Ryan highlighted the Y’s past-year achievements in the three focus areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. “For youth development we integrated reading into all of the Y’s youth development, afterschool, summer and early childhood programs,” she said.
In the area of healthy living, she outlined the Y’s progress in advancing its focus on health, wellness and the prevention of chronic disease by “providing more personalized services, focusing on diet and nutrition, and enhancing clinical and rehabilitation services through stronger partnerships with local hospitals.” She also highlighted the organization’s continued commitment to social responsibility through its investments in fragile communities. Among its top 2012 achievements: Expansion of the Osceola Y in Kissimmee and the addition of a new Y Links2Learning urban golf and educational program at the South Orlando Y. Citing continued focus on outreach facilities in 11 neighborhoods, including Union Park, Pine Hills and Kissimmee, she said “51% of our outreach Y members receive financial assistance that enabled them to take advantage of all Y offerings.”
The evening also included a special video presentation honoring the Y’s 30-year and nearly $30 million partnership with Dr. Phillips Charities, as well as a 10-year anniversary as the foundation’s primary support agency. Dr. Phillips Charities board members Jim Hinson, Ken Robinson, Dr. Ann Manley, Eva Tukdarian and Dr. Margaret Miller were present for the event.
The Y also thanked and honored its top major donors: The Roper Family, Winter Park Health Foundation, Darden, Wayne Densch Charities, Florida Hospital, Orange County Government, Lake Nona/Tavistock, Walt Disney World, Osceola County, Lockheed Martin, The Bert Martin Foundation, Bank of America, Pepsi, Microsoft, Munroe Regional Medical Center and Frank DeLuca.
Each Y family center honored their respective volunteers of the year:
- Teen Achievers, Jibri Robinson
- Aquatic Center, Randy Walters
- Avalon Park, Craig Murray
- Blanchard Park, Stefanie Block
- Camp Wewa, Katie Hery Morgan
- Cocoa, Dave McGaffic
- Crosby, Howie & Debbie Apple
- Downtown, Kathy Panter
- Dr. Phillips, Paul McGarigal
- Golden Triangle, Jerry Ransom
- J. Douglas Williams, Jose Velazquez
- Lake Nona, Marshia Hale
- Frank DeLuca YMCA, Steve Wingo
- Osceola, Eric & Janelle Jenkins
- Oviedo, Alice Maalouf
- Roper, Ashley Arthur
- South Orlando, Virginia Howell
- Suntree, Sam Pinson
- Tangelo Park, Autumn Bailey
- Titusville, Gene Loyd
- WDW Resort: Lake Buena Vista, Virginia Rousseau
- WDW Resort: Sherberth, Noel Myerson
- Wayne Densch, Charlie McCall
- Winter Park, Marilyn Nelson
The Frank DeLuca YMCA also received the Pinnacle Award for the fifth year in a row for exceptional YMCA Family Center achievements in revenue growth, volunteer support and financial stewardship.
Lastly, the organization honored two senior staff members with a new award, the Jim Ferber Award, for outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment to the Y cause and mission. The recipients were Jody Alexander, YMCA District Vice President of Operations, who manages the Downtown and South Orlando Ys, and Colleen Manahan, Chief Administrative Officer who oversees the organization’s human resources, finances and technology departments.
At the end of the meeting Ryan passed the Chairman’s gavel to 2013 Chair Glen Davis, who closed by saying, “Without each of you here tonight, the Y would simply be unable to keep pace with growing community needs. We need you to remain committed as the Y’s momentum and life-changing work keeps on building.”
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.