YMCA Promotes Values & Ethics at Annual Dinner

​The YMCA of Rock River Valley shares how values and doing the right thing can impact our community at its annual YMCA Community Dinner on March 1.  More than 550 people were in attendance at Giovanni’s Restaurant for the event that featured ABC News Anchor and TV Host John Quinones.

The YMCA brings all people together and works to put Christian principles into practice through programs, services and relationships that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Y is challenging community members to live the values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith.

“We believe now is the perfect time to explore the choices we make in our community and how doing the right thing will make a better us,” said Michelle Gorham, Chief Advancement Officer, YMCA of Rock River Valley. “At a time when people are hungry for ways to come together, we used this opportunity show what we can do For a Better Us. We aimed to remind our community what “us” means and why it’s important.”

CEO Brent Pentenburg celebrated some members and shared their life-changing experiences with the Y. Nancy Matthews found friendship and fitness at the Y after her husband of nearly 50 years passed away. Brandon Sanchez lost nearly 100 pounds to be a role model for his children. Cynthia Reynolds says joining the Y is one of the best things she has done for herself and she now attends group fitness classes five days a week. Kasim Baker, AmeriCorp member and Achievers alum, was recently named a RAMM Scholar. And, Mersida Marevac, a cancer survivor, credits the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program for helping her cope with recovery.

“Improving the lives of those in our communities isn't optional, but instead it’s a must,” said Pentenburg. “There is one thing in this vast universe God cherishes above all else, and that is the life of every human being, it’s you, your families, your friends.”

Pentenburg unveiled the Y’s new 2020 strategic plan at the dinner. The plan has four priorities that will focus on:

·       Nurturing the Potential of Every Child and Teen
·       Improving the Region’s Health and Well-being
·       Developing Cause-Driven Leaders and Volunteers
·       Building Capacity to Guide Our Cause

The YMCA also presented four awards during the dinner. The winners are as follow:

·       Judson University 2-year Scholarship – Kamrin Muhammad
·       YMCA Antonio Little Teen Leadership Award and $1000 Scholarship – Maggie Beard
·       YMCA Community Leader Award – Sunil Puri
·       YMCA Outstanding Business Impact Award – Manley’s of Belvidere

Funds raised at the YMCA Community Dinner support the programs and services of the Y - opening the doors to all. If you’re interested in making a donation to the 2018 annual campaign, please visit www.rockriverymca.org/give or call the Mission Advancement office at 779-500-0800.