YMCA Honors Local Leaders

​The YMCA of Rock River Valley recognizes local leaders each year who have made an impact in our community.  The awards are normally presented at the annual YMCA Community Dinner. Due to COVID-19, the dinner event did not take place this year. The awards were presented directly to the recipients.

“We could not miss an opportunity to lift up some amazing individuals and businesses,” said Michelle Gorham, YMCA Chief Advancement Officer. “While many people saw barriers during the pandemic, these individuals and businesses saw an opportunity to help. We are proud of these recipients and we are so grateful they call the Rock River Valley home.”

YMCA Antonio Little Teen Leadership Award presented by CoyleKiley
2021 Winner: Jefferson Snedegar

This award is provided to a young individual between the ages of 16-19 who has demonstrated leadership and is taking an active role to improve the overall health of the Rockford community. The winner receives a $1,000 scholarship. Jefferson Snedegar is a Guilford High School senior who plans to attend Northwestern University. During the pandemic, Jefferson wanted to help elementary school students who had lost access to school, friends, the library and more. He organized a book and game drive to impact young people who were stuck at home. He worked with the Boys and Girls Club for distribution. Additionally, he worked to install little free libraries at the Carlson and Fairgrounds locations of Boys and Girls Club.

YMCA Community Leader Award presented by Field
2021 Winner: Dennis Roop

The Community Leader Award is recognition for any outstanding leader who embodies excellence in their field, is an outstanding role model and exemplifies the mission and vision of the YMCA. Dennis Roop has been a long-time volunteer and advocate for the YMCA. He passionately shares the Y’s impact story in the community to recruit new volunteers and donors. Roop has also given his time to many other organizations including Crusader Community Health, Wesley Willows and Goodwill.

YMCA Outstanding Business Impact Award presented by WilliamsMcCarthy
2021 Winner: Rockford Art Deli

This award recognizes an organization that increases the business image of the community. This organization also gives generously of its time and resources to better impact the community. During the pandemic shutdown, Rockford Art Deli sprung into action to help businesses with their Here For Good Rockford campaign. RAD printed small business shirts and donated $10 back to the business, while also committing one percent to Severson Dells Nature Center as part of its previously announced 1% for the planet campaign. Here For Good raised $22,000 in the first three days and $100,000 in total for 400 businesses.