YMCA to host more than 400 supporters at 3rd Annual The Y. So Much More Recognition Dinner

October 03, 2016

Focused on the continuum of care — from early education and care to youth development, adulthood and beyond— and resiliency in our communities, the YMCA celebrates its role in strengthening children, individuals and families

The YMCA of Metro Chicago’s 2016 Recognition Dinner highlights the programs supporting the Y’s mission to develop strong children, families and healthy communities across Metropolitan Chicago through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, and fitness and healthy living. To be held at the Four Seasons Chicago on Thursday, October 27, 2016, the event will raise funds to strengthen the Y’s ability to meet the changing needs of the more than 200,000 members served annually at 22 city and suburban centers, five resident camps and dozens of extension sites. In 2015, the event raised more than $1 million.

Hosted by WMAQ-TV reporter LeeAnn Trotter, the YMCA Recognition Dinner will also honor an organization and two individuals whose contributions have made a difference in the lives of YMCA youth and families while helping to create more vibrant and compassionate communities.

BMO Harris Bank will receive the Y’s 2016 So Much More Than a Partner award in recognition of its shared values and steadfast, multi-faceted support of the Y’s mission. For more than 30 years, BMO Harris has been one of the Y’s most influential partners and, with its recent $1 million gift, a stalwart in the development of the Y’s innovative new Learning Institute in the West Loop. David Hiller of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation will present this award to BMO Harris Bank’s Vice Chair Peter B. McNitt.

Rita Canning will be presented with the Y’s 2016 So Much More Than a Leader award for her dedication and service to the Y’s youth, families and communities. As a long-time member of the Buehler YMCA Board, Canning has demonstrated exceptional leadership and unwavering support of the Y’s mission. The award will be presented by Vince Foglia, chairman of Sage Products, honorary member of the Sage YMCA Board of Directors, and recipient of the 2015 So Much More Than a Leader award.

 “We're honored to count Rita Canning and BMO Harris as friends, partners and staunch supporters of the Y's mission,” said Richard Malone, president and CEO, YMCA of Metro Chicago. “With their help and outstanding contributions, we can continue our work to help improve the lives of the families and communities we serve."

The inaugural So Much More Than a Volunteer award will be given posthumously to Abner Garcia, a U.S. Army veteran and mentor in the Y’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Urban Warriors program, for his strong commitment to helping youth.

The 2016 Recognition Dinner is co-chaired by John P. Amboian, A. Steven Crown, Vincent W. Foglia, J. Christopher Reyes, M. Jude Reyes, Samuel K. Skinner and all members of the Board of Managers of the YMCA of Metro Chicago.

Funds raised from each year's Recognition Dinner go toward providing financial assistance to help Y youth and families reach their full potential. Guests will hear firsthand about the Y’s continuum of care, including early learning and before- and afterschool programs. Speakers include a grandmother from the Sage YMCA and participants in the Y’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention initiative. This initiative’s nationally-recognized programs, Story Squad and Urban Warriors, help youth affected by gang and gun violence.