2024 Recognition Dinner
Jun 20, 2024

All In on Recognizing Impact

Play on!  

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago celebrated 165 years of impact at our 10th Annual Recognition Dinner in October 2023. Every year, the Y brings together the business, civic, and philanthropic leaders who are championing the Y’s mission of strengthening community by connecting all people to their purpose, potential and each other. 

In line with our newly unveiled brand platform, “The Power of Play,” the theme for the 2023 Recognition Dinner was Play On! And play on we did! 
During the reception, guests enjoyed interactive art, PLINKO, music, appetizers, and more. Y Board member Judith Toland and Board Chair Steve Sorensen served as the evening’s emcees and kicked off the formal program by welcoming guests to the event, recognizing Y leaders and staff, and celebrating the Y’s role as a vital community asset for Chicagoland and the Midwest. 

YMCA of Metro Chicago President and CEO Dorri McWhorter took the podium to share some past, current, and upcoming Y milestones, including the organization’s role in establishing the Chicago Marathon in 1976, participation in the Sankofa Wellness Village, and announcement of a forthcoming Loop YMCA. Following dinner, the emcees announced the evening’s raffle winners and introduced a video capturing just a sliver of the Y’s impact over the past 165 years. 

Y staff members Neisy Schultz, Vice President, Community Innovation and Impact, and Adrienne Johnson, Executive Director of Youth Safety and Violence Prevention, called for donations and, in line with the impact video, highlighted some of the ways that donors’ contributions can change the lives of the individuals, families, and communities served by the Y.  

After presentation of their respective awards, honoree Jessica Sarowitz and honoree representatives Matt Knott of Builders Vision and Jourdan Sorrell of Comcast, sat down with McWhorter for a “campfire-side chat” about philanthropy, community engagement, and corporate social responsibility. Their stories and insights served as a source of inspiration for all attendees, reminding us of the power we all have to make a difference in the lives of others. At the conclusion of the event, McWhorter teed up the world premiere of the Y’s new brand video, The Power of Play! 

Since 2014, the event has raised nearly $10 million to power the Y's important work across the region, strengthening Chicagoland and the Midwest through play. As we look forward to the future, please save the date for another celebration of play, joy, and inspiration at the 2024 Recognition Dinner on Thursday, October 10. More details can be found at via our website event page