The Y. So Much More Recognition Dinner Raises More Than $1 Million for the 4th Consecutive Year

November 02, 2017


More than 450 attendees gathered to support the YMCA of Metro Chicago's mission and present our awards for leadership, partnership and volunteerism."

More than 450 attendees came together for the fourth annual The Y. So Much More™ Recognition Dinner on October 26, raising more than $1 million for Chicago children and families for the fourth consecutive year. Click here to view more photos from the event.

Emceed by ABC7 anchor Judy Hsu, the Recognition Dinner shed light on the needs, struggles and triumphs of the youth, teens and families in the Y community. Joanna Korbut, a teen member of the Irving Park YMCA’s Leaders Club, was featured in a video detailing how the Y helped her overcome her shyness in the wake of her father’s death. Gabi Berthiaume, a camper at YMCA Camp Independence, was featured in another video about how spina bifida doesn’t define her thanks in part to the Y. We were thrilled to have both Joanna and Gabi in attendance at the event, which was held at a new venue near the YMCA Center in the West Loop, Morgan Manufacturing.

David VitaleLast year’s honorees were on hand to present this year’s awards. David Vitale, chairman of the Urban Partnership Bank and former chairman of the YMCA board of managers, received the So Much More Than A Leader Award from Rita Canning, Chair of the WINGS Board of Directors and longtime Buehler YMCA Board member. Over the years, Vitale has served as the president and CEO of the Chicago Board of Trade, president of Leadership Greater Chicago, and president of the Chicago Board of Education. Vitale’s knowledge and passion for the education field is what keeps him connected to the Y, but the organization’s efforts to provide quality education for all youth and teens is what continues to garner his admiration and support.

Steve SorensonAllstate Insurance Company was the recipient of the So Much More Than A Partner Award which was presented by Peter McNitt, Vice Chair of BMO Harris. Steve Sorenson, EVP of Allstate and member of the Board of Managers and Foglia YMCA Board, accepted the award. Allstate has been an avid supporter of the YMCA for more than 30 years. Most recently, they have generously contributed to the Y’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Programming (YSVP), like Urban Warriors, which pairs post-9/11 veterans with youth exposed to violence and trauma in Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

David McLoneThe So Much More Than A Volunteer Award was presented to Dr. David McLone, a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, by Camp Independence Board Chair Pat Frangella. Coupling his professional talents in the neurology field with his passion and dedication for helping youth with disabilities find their independence, McLone partnered with the YMCA to establish YMCA Camp Independence, a resident camp that helps children and young adults with spina bifida build their confidence and character to become more self-sufficient. Since its inception in 2010, Dr. McLone has served on the board of directors and has been a regular volunteer and visitor to Camp Independence, especially as many of the children at camp are still under his care.

In all, the event raised more than $1 million to promote academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, and fitness and healthy living.

Special thanks to our media sponsor, Make It Better Media.