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Column

Honored to be recognized by Grundy Chamber Organization of the Year

FT staff team from across the YMCA association
FT staff team from across the YMCA association

The Morris Community YMCA was recently named Organization of the Year by the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We were honored to receive this recognition and grateful to be able to publicly share our appreciation at this annual dinner.

While accepting this award, I had the opportunity to share a few stories from the podium that highlighted the Y’s impact on our community since our temporary facility opened in 2015.

One particular story struck a chord with a guest in attendance that evening. By the time I arrived home that night, I had received an email from this individual. In his message, he shared that he was moved by the stories about the Y’s scholarship program in Grundy County and wanted to lend his support to the effort.

While the Y has been providing programs in Grundy County since 2006, it is still surprising to learn how many people are not aware that the Y is a nonprofit organization, and that it offers scholarship assistance to ensure that no one is turned away due to the inability to pay.

As we prepare for another season of summer day camp in Morris and Coal City, the impact of the Y’s scholarship program becomes even more compelling. In 2016, one out of every three children attending summer day camp in Grundy County received financial assistance.

These much-needed scholarship dollars ensured that families in our community had access to a quality summer day camp program. YMCA summer day camp truly lets kids be kids.

Campers thrive in a fun environment, enjoying weekly field trips, including trips to the Morris City Pool twice a week. Beyond the activities, the kids in the program develop social skills, a concept of teamwork, and friendships that last long after the summer is over.

The YMCA’s scholarship program is made possible thanks to the generosity of our members and people in the community who choose to pay it forward.

In much the same way, we owe our gratitude to the community for the warm reception we have received over the last few years, we owe an even bigger debt of gratitude to those who have chosen to support the Y’s annual campaign by making a tax-deductible charitable donation.

It also gives me great pride to share that our staff team at the YMCA truly understands that it is important to lead by example. At a team meeting last week at Pilcher Park in Joliet, full-time staff from across our YMCA association came together to celebrate the success of our 2017 Staff Giving Campaign.

It was inspiring to learn that this group of Y professionals pledged more than $21,000 in support of the 2017 annual campaign. Boasting 100 percent participation, this team is committed to the Y’s mission of helping others in our community. And, I am very grateful to be a part of it.

On behalf of all the families who continue to benefit from the Y’s scholarship fund, I would like to simply say thank you. By working together, we are strengthening our community.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the YMCA, visit www.jolietymca.org, call 815-513-8080 or stop by the Morris Community YMCA.  

• Missy Durkin is the executive director for the Morris branch of the Greater Joliet Area YMCA. Community Pulse is a weekly column that provides a dedicated space for Grundy County-area nonprofits, schools, organizations and sometimes Morris Herald-News staff to share news and information about their organization.

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