ONE Y Connect. Serve. Together.
6th Annual Spirit of Service Awards
2016 Spirit of Service Class
November 17, 2016
Michael Jones, Cleaver Family YMCA
Center Volunteers p.10 Jake Blake, Bonner Springs Family YMCA Rich and Natalie Canale, Paul Henson Family YMCA Judy Coles, North Kansas City YMCA Angela Gutierrez, 8th Street Family YMCA Brandon Johnson, Red Bridge Family YMCA Dominga Levin, Linwood Family YMCA Wayne Lueckenhoff, Atchison Family YMCA Matt Maciel, Olathe Family YMCA Jim McCall, Platte County Community Center South Vic Perrin, Platte County Community Center North Michael Talbert, Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center Greg Westbrook, YMCA of Greater Kansas City
Association Resource Center
Youth and Education Volunteers p.20 CyJuan Anderson, Columbus Park YMCA Head Start Monica and Jacob Cloward, Northland YMCA Head Start
Hero of the Heart Award
6 Eric and Tonya Groves
Andrea Hagens, YMCA Head Start Hillery Heigel, Excelsior Springs YMCA Head Start Cory Kirby, Liberty YMCA Head Start Crystal Naylor, Burlington YMCA Head Start
Kirk Family Philanthropic Award
8 The Hall Family Foundation Outgoing Board Chair Recognition
30 Madeline Romious
Ceandrea Strickland, Thomas Roque YMCA Head Start
Program Volunteers p.26 David Bock, Challenger Bobbi, Jessica and Leslie Broils, Young Achievers Jenny Burkhead-Johnson, Challenger Myla Tosatto, Challenger
GET INVOLVED VOLUNTEER
FOCUS ON HEALTHY LIVING
Take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change right in your own neighborhood. At the Y, help deliver the benefits of good health, strong connections, greater self-confidence and a sense of security to all who seek it.
Well-being and fitness at the Y is so much more than just working out. It’s about good health inside and out, fostering connections with others, and achieving a balance of spirit, mind and body.
GIVE Donate to the Y to nurture the potential of kids, improve our community’s health and well-being, and give back and support our neighbors.
ADVOCATE Champion our cause. Tell others about the Y’s mission to create lasting change in our community through nurturing the potential of our youth, improving our community’s health and giving back to our neighbors.
JOIN With a Y membership, you become part of a cause for strengthening a community that is committed every day to helping you, your family and your neighbors learn, grow and thrive.
STAY INFORMED Keep up to date on all of our events and the important work we are doing in our community. Sign up for email updates at KansasCityYMCA.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, tips and special offers.
HOST Party with a purpose. Gather your friends, have fun and raise funds! It can be as simple as holding a bake sale, hosting a dinner party or having a garage sale and donating the proceeds to the Y.
GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK At the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, we are always looking for ways to grow and improve to better serve the community. Let us know what we can do for you.
David Byrd, President and CEO, works with Chris Kurtz, chair of the Board of Directors, who volunteers his time to lead the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. 4
DEAR FRIENDS, The special people we honor today are inspiring examples of what it means to serve. These honorees are among the more than 3,400 volunteers our Y counts on each year to help us strengthen our community. The honorees featured in this book represent an essential piece of our Y puzzle. When assembled, these pieces create a portrait of our Y. From fostering literacy among preschoolers to supporting young people with special needs play sports, we are all connected by a shared cause: to serve.
WE ARE ALL CONNECTED BY A SHARED CAUSE: TO SERVE Read on to learn more about how this yearâ€™s award recipients are making a difference in our community by sharing their time, talent and treasure with the Y. Congratulations to all of the volunteers being recognized this year. Your efforts make our organization better and our communities stronger. Many blessings to all!
Chris Kurtz David Byrd Chair, Board of Directors President and CEO
2016 YMCA of Greater Kansas City Hero of the Heart Award recipients Eric and Tonya Groves.
HERO OF THE HEART AWARD This award recognizes an individual or organization that has shown extraordinary dedication to advancing the Y’s mission throughout the Greater Kansas City community.
2016 Hero of the Heart Award Recipients
Eric and Tonya Groves
YMCA Togetherhood®/Blue Springs Family YMCA Eric and Tonya Groves exemplify the Y’s mission of meeting the social responsibility needs of the community through their tireless volunteer efforts. As the chair for the Blue Spring Family YMCA’s Togetherhood Committee for the past two years, Eric has helped the Blue Springs Y make tremendous strides in reaching beyond its own community, affecting the lives of many in the Greater Kansas City metro area. Eric has spearheaded the launch of more than six events including the Extreme Yard Makeover Togetherhood Edition, holiday gatherings for children and families, a project for U.S. military members serving overseas and more. The Blue Springs Family YMCA Togetherhood Committee received a State Resolution Award earlier this year
for all of their volunteer efforts. A 25-year UPS employee, Eric’s work schedule gives him the flexibility to volunteer many hours for the Y and other charitable organizations. Tonya has worked more than 20 years in the medical field and volunteers alongside Eric at Y events. She has led many activities, including gathering books for a successful book drive, serving as a congenial Mrs. Claus to Soul Santa for holiday parties, teaching young residents landscaping techniques and creating para-cords for U.S. military members serving overseas. “Eric and Tonya have an unselfish desire to serve their community and a positive spirit that is infectious to those around them. We are truly grateful to have them as part of our program,” said Ben Coffey, executive director, Blue Springs Family YMCA.
“Eric and Tonya have an unselfish desire to serve their community and a positive spirit that is infectious... .”
Rendering of the Linwood YMCA/James B. Nutter Community Center opening early spring 2017.
The Hall Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of human life, and focuses on programs that enrich the community, help people and promote excellence. The Foundation strives to create permanent solutions to community needs in the Greater Kansas City area and views its primary function as a catalyst. The Hall Family Foundation awarded $1.62 million in 2014 to the YMCA of Greater Kansas City Building What Matters community capital campaign, becoming a partner in funding an updated and expanded Linwood Y. This newer facility will help the community achieve better health and provide families and individuals with access to more services. Not only will the center offer more space-- including a community room, an updated gym, an indoor pool, a kidsâ€™ adventure center, a full kitchen and a studio for group exercise classes, but adjoining the center will be a vital health clinic sponsored by Truman Medical Center. Construction on the Linwood Y began in June 2015, and is set to open to the community in early spring 2017.
KIRK FAMILY PHILANTHROPIC AWARD This award is named in recognition of the Kirk Family’s long philanthropic involvement with the Y, starting more than 60 years ago, when Jim Kirk taught and inspired his children to give back to their community. Today, the Kirk Family Philanthropic Award is carried on through the generations. Jim’s sons, Frank, Phil (now deceased,) Mike, and Frank’s daughter Natalie Kirk play a vital role in supporting the Y’s mission of youth development.
2016 Kirk Family Philanthropic Award Recipient
The Hall Family Foundation Founded in 1943 by Joyce and Elizabeth Hall, the Hall Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organization dedicated to inspiring positive change in our community. The Hall Family connection to the Y began in 1910. New to the city, Joyce Hall stayed at the Downtown YMCA and began selling cards which led to the creation of Hallmark Cards Inc. Throughout the years, the Hall Family Foundation has established a legacy of giving to our Y. Their generous support has enriched Y locations and programs across the Greater Kansas City area. YMCA Challenger, Young Achievers, Youth Volunteer Corps and Exchange Network programs have all benefited from their contributions. In 2014, the Hall Family Foundation awarded $1.5 million to our Building What Matters community capital campaign, becoming a partner in funding an updated and expanded Linwood Y. The Hall Family Foundation has supported the construction of several
Ys throughout the years, including the Cleaver Family YMCA and the Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center. The new Linwood Y will help the community achieve better health and provide families and individuals with access to more services. Not only will the center offer more space—including a community room, an updated gym, an indoor pool, a kids’ adventure center, a full kitchen and a studio for group exercise classes —but adjoining the center will be a vital health clinic sponsored by Truman Medical Center. Construction on the Linwood Y began in June 2015, and is set to open to the community in early spring 2017. “We are so thankful for the Hall Family Foundation’s consistent support of our youth and families throughout the years. Because of their commitment, children have been strengthened, empowered, and exposed to great experiences,” said Michelle Ford, chief development officer, YMCA of Greater of Kansas City.
Angela Gutierrez volunteers at the Welcome Center helping Spanishspeaking families learn more about the Y and become members.
Spirit of Service Awards Each year, more than 3,400 volunteers give their time and talent at the Y to strengthen the community. This award recognizes top volunteers from each of the Yâ€™s centers and programs throughout the Greater Kansas City area.
CENTER VOLUNTEERS Thanks to volunteers, our 14 Y centers throughout the metro are able to give men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life the resources and support they need to be healthy, confident, connected and secure. Volunteers serve in a variety of roles. Volunteers on each center Community Mission Board advise on the future direction of the Y, take an active role in fundraising, help the Y partner with other organizations to expand our reach, and assist with special events. In addition, many opportunities are available for volunteers to share a talent or unique interest with others through social groups at the Y, free classes, special projects and community events. And sometimes a volunteer may be the first person you see, greeting guests at the Welcome Center.
JAKE BLAKE Bonner Springs Family YMCA Jake Blake volunteers as a coach, supporting every sport his kids have participated in including bitty soccer, bitty basketball, bitty flag football, youth flag football and youth basketball. On top of all of the hours, he pours his heart into the job of coach and has been called one of the best youth sport volunteer coaches in the area. He takes the time to ensure every child has the chance to make a basket or score a goal, giving one-on-one attention to all team members. “Jake will always go out of his way to make sure every child on his teams have the chance to feel successful,” said Casey Orwig, sports director, Bonner Springs Family YMCA.
RICH AND NATALIE CANALE Paul Henson Family YMCA Rich and Natalie Canale are volunteer coaches in the Youth Sports program. They started in 2015 with fall flag football, immediately demonstrating their care and compassion for team members. They have since coached every season, including summer baseball, and finished the 2016 flag football season with nearly complete retention of players. In addition to ensuring that each child on their kindergarten/1st grade teams feel valued, encouraged and equipped with basic skills of the sport, they create an environment in which families of the children build friendships and respect for one another. From a team Halloween party to an end-of-baseball-season celebration, Rich and Natalie embody the true meaning of YMCA youth sports, demonstrating the core values of honesty, respect, caring and responsibility. “Rich and Natalie Canale are vital to the strength of our Youth Sports Program. They ensure that their teams have the best experience in our Y program, including purchasing equipment for all team members with their own funds. There is no doubt that when the kids grow up, they will remember both coaches and understand the effect they had in shaping them as young men and women,” said Scott Clark, vice president of operations, YMCA of Greater Kansas City. 12
JUDY COLES North Kansas City YMCA Judy Coles has assisted the North Kansas City YMCA with special event preparations and participation for many years. She regularly attends events to train volunteers how to recruit community support for the Y. She promotes healthy lifestyles through her volunteer work. “Judy has been a positive role model for hundreds of members, through participating in classes, the wellness center and many activities at the North Kansas City and Vivion Family YMCAs. She has motivated and inspired Y members and program participants by advocating for healthy lifestyles and social responsibility for community members who are looking for a place to belong,” said Randy Groff, executive director, North Kansas City YMCA.
ANGELA GUTIERREZ 8th Street Family YMCA Angela Gutierrez serves as the chair for the Togetherhood program at the 8th Street Family YMCA, ever since her peers nominated her for the leadership role. She also volunteers with the Salsa, Sabor, y Salud program, Welcome Center, Kids Zone programs, Back-to-School Bash, Trunk n’ Treat, Trivia Night and Healthy Kids Day. Angela’s family joined the Y in 2013 and completed the Salsa, Sabor y Salud program. She started as a Y Teen Leader in 2014, volunteering with various programs and special events. Since assuming her leadership role, Angela and her team have participated in the Y-USA Military Appreciation Day and in planning upcoming events like a community clean-up and Violence Prevention Roundtable discussion. “Angela is only 15 years old, but has already made an impact at the Y through her involvement in the Togetherhood program. She has served more than 190 hours with our programs,” said Simeon Henderson, executive director, 8th Street Family YMCA.
SPIRIT OF SERVICE 2015 — 11 13
BRANDON JOHNSON Red Bridge Family YMCA Brandon Johnson has been a member of the Y since 2014, and is approaching his first full year serving on the Red Bridge Family YMCA Community Mission Board. He has been instrumental in the recruitment of new board members and helped the Red Bridge Y achieve its annual campaign goal by raising more than $20,000. Brandon’s family is described as a true Y family. His wife serves as a group exercise instructor and his two kids participate in sports and Kids Night Out activities. He and his family are first to volunteer to represent the Y at community events. “Brandon believes a community is only as strong as the Y serving it. He wants to see the Red Bridge Family YMCA continue to grow to better strengthen the community,” said Doug Berkel, executive director, Red Bridge Family YMCA.
MICHAEL JONES Cleaver Family YMCA Michael Jones has served on the Cleaver Family YMCA Community Mission Board for four and a half years and was vice chair before assuming the role of board chair. He’s now in his second term in that leadership role. He helped lead strategic planning for the center, supporting the campaign with various fundraising events. Michael personally contributed to the campaign and solicited donations from his employer. He has volunteered at many center events and advocates for the Y in our community. In addition to his work with the Y, Michael is active in the community, volunteering on several other boards. “Mike does a terrific job in promoting the Y. As associate executive director, he has helped me gain a better understanding of the outreach the Cleaver Y has done in the past. Mike also helps promote the Y through his work at Commerce Bank. During the last membership promotion, he distributed fliers to all visitors at the bank,” said Richard Marsoun, associate executive director, Cleaver Family YMCA.
DOMINGA LEVIN Linwood Family YMCA Dominga Levin has served nearly three years as the Linwood Family YMCA Community Mission Board chair. She has launched two board committees and was the lead planner for the Linwood Y board retreat. Her leadership helps the board become a stronger and more effective body, resulting in more engagement from all members. “Dominga is a world-class volunteer. What does that mean? It means Dominga personifies a caring, engaged, vested leader who is all about helping people. We are so grateful to have a dedicated board chair who leads with passion. Our Linwood Y team appreciates and recognizes the effort and time Dominga puts forth in being present at Linwood events. I am grateful for Dominga’s thoughtfulness and her care for our community,” said Stephenie Smith, executive director, Linwood Family YMCA.
WAYNE LUECKENHOFF Atchison Family YMCA Wayne volunteers at the Atchison Family YMCA, leading a lunchtime cycling class for the Healthy Living Partners. During the past seven years, Wayne has volunteered more than 580 hours of his time and talent for the Y. Wayne helps individuals in his class reach their goals by demonstrating positive motivation and helping them develop lifetime friendships in the community. Each year Wayne’s cycling class is involved in a year-long friendly competition —and this year the challenge is jumping rope. In years past, the fitness challenge was seeing who could do the most jumping jacks or burpees. Wayne’s company, Bish Mize, is also a committed partner with the Y annual campaign, as well as the current Building What Matters capital campaign. A new and expanded YMCA is currently under construction for the Atchison community. “We’ve had a lot of volunteers here throughout the years, and I think what stands out about Wayne is that he somehow takes that volunteer spirit of giving to a deeper impact and helps individuals reach their healthy living goals. He’s an encourager, creates a positive and welcoming environment in his class and offers enthusiasm to people along their healthy living journey,” said Lorin Affield, executive director, Atchison Family YMCA. 15
MATT MACIEL Olathe Family YMCA Matt Maciel has served on the Olathe Family YMCA Community Mission Board for more than five years as well as served as chair of the Golf Committee, Annual Campaign volunteer, member of the Friend Raising c ommittee, and a YMCA of Greater Kansas City Strategic Planning volunteer. He volunteered to chair the Inaugural Olathe Family YMCA Golf Tournament this year. All proceeds support access to Olathe Family YMCA programs and services for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The program also funds scholarships to youth, teens and families in need. “Matt committed countless number of hours, time, talent and resources helping to make sure every child, teen and family has access to the Olathe Family YMCA,” said Scott Clark, vice president of operations, YMCA of Greater Kansas City.
JIM McCALL Platte County Community Center South (PCCCS) operated by the YMCA Jim McCall has volunteered for a number of positions within the Y including serving on the PCCCS Community Mission Board, Missouri State Government and Relations Council, the Togetherhood Committee and Block Party Committee. He was also instrumental in leading the initial Poverty Summit in 2016. Not only has Jim personally donated to their campaign, he has helped engage other donors as well. He is described as leading by example, rolling up his sleeves, and is always willing to put in whatever time is necessary to make a difference. “Jim strengthens our community by his heart and by his actions. He has a heart for helping the community, advocating for the Y to step in and fill necessary gaps that aren’t currently being met,” said Garry Linn, vice president of operations, YMCA of Greater Kansas City.
VIC PERRIN Platte County Community Center North (PCCCN) operated by the YMCA The Y has become Vic Perrin’s home away from home for more than nine years. He serves on the PCCCN Community Mission Board and the PCCCN Togetherhood Committee. Vic has led the volunteer team in determining community needs and launching nonprofit programs throughout the city such as roadside clean up, Hillcrest Ministries, City Union Mission Committees and Mother’s Day 5K. Vic doesn’t know a stranger. His role on the PCCCN Community Mission Board has included raising annual funds that involve major donors and advocating for the development of community initiatives. His efforts raise awareness about how the Y serves communities and demonstrates to prospective members how they can become a larger part of the Y family. “Through so many of our accomplishments, Vic has always been right there: leading, assisting, supporting in any way needed. It is an honor and pleasure serving with him,” said Matt Eaves, executive director, Platte County
MICHAEL TALBERT Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center For the past six years, Michael Talbert has served as youth basketball coach at the Providence Y spending at least four to five hours a week during each season working with kids on practices and games. He holds the team accountable academically by setting a grade point average standard that each team member must meet in order to participate. He provides an opportunity for kids to play basketball with the Y who would not necessarily be able to play without his support. Parents are thankful for Michael as a coach and role model for their children. “Michael has paid the registration fees for several of the kids on his team who are unable to afford the cost. He also provides uniforms for his team at his own expense. Michael exemplifies what volunteerism with the YMCA is about,” said Casey Orwig, sports director, Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center.
GREG WESTBROOK YMCA of Greater Kansas City Association Resource Center Greg serves on the YMCA of Greater Kansas City Association Board of Directors and is chair of the 2016 Association Annual Campaign. He also serves on the People Services Council. In 2006, Greg Westbrook was invited to attend a YMCA Challenger event and he was immediately hooked. In fact, he’s been back to every Challenger event since. Greg’s company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, has been a presenting sponsor of Cheers for Challenger since 2010, thanks to his efforts. As head of meetings production and community relations for Teva, Greg worked with the company to host Challenger events at the Teva Overland Park location for the past three years. Besides offering space for Challenger events, Teva donated food and other needed items and drew in many Teva employees to support and participate in Challenger events. Greg’s enthusiasm for the Y’s Challenger program extends to his family. Both Greg and daughter, Greer, are “Challenger Buddies” because the program touched the hearts of the Westbrook family. Greg’s wife, Linda, is also a strong advocate for the Challenger program.. “I love Greg’s passion for the Challenger program from the very start. He has been such a such a strong supporter and partner on everything we do and it’s an inspiration to the volunteers, his staff and most of all the Challenger participants that he’s worked with throughout the years,” said Michelle Ford, chief development officer.
CONNECT. SERVE. TOGETHER. 83
board volunteers gave
program volunteers gave
total volunteers gave
hours of service
hours of service
hours of service
*Based on 2015 volunteer data
Spirit of Service Awards
YOUTH AND EDUCATION VOLUNTEERS As part of our commitment to youth development, the Y offers early education through eight Head Start centers, three early learning centers and two preschool programs. We also offer before and after school Y Club and summer day camp programs at more than 90 sites across the metro. These programs depend on dedicated volunteers who share their time to be positive role models, assist teachers, collect resources for children and their families, and educate children by sharing their unique talents. Because of volunteers, youth have more support and opportunities to learn and grow at the Y.
Children at our preschools build friendships and form bonds that help them better communicate and gain more confidence in preparation for kindergarten.
CyJUAN ANDERSON Columbus Park YMCA Early Education Center CyJuan Anderson is the custodian/groundskeeper at the Guinotte Manor office through the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Mo. He is present every day and serves as a strong, positive male role model for the program. He shows young children what it means to be respectful, helpful and grateful for everything that life has to offer. “CyJuan is the most helpful, kind and caring person who always comes in with a smile on his face. He has a genuine love and concern for everyone he encounters and he always sees the glass as half full, no matter what. Our Head Start family at Columbus Park loves CyJuan,” said Heather Gilliam, program director, Columbus Park YMCA Early Education Center.
MONICA AND JACOB CLOWARD Northland YMCA Head Start Monica and Jacob Cloward are active parents who volunteer frequently at the Northland YMCA Head Start. They began their volunteer work three years ago when their child was enrolled in the center, and they continue to serve the program, even though their child has moved on from Head Start. Both Monica and Jacob are frequent visitors to Head Start classrooms, reading to the children, talking with them, assisting with activities and just being buddies to the kids. The Clowards assist weekly with stuffing backpacks with food donations that the Head Start children take home on weekends. Monica also serves as the Northland Head Start chair for the Policy Committee, which sets guidelines for all Head Start programs in the Kansas City metro area regarding performance standards, staffing, busing and various programs. She’s fluent in Spanish and helps translate important information presented at Head Start parent meetings for those who are still learning English. “We encourage parents of children enrolled in Head Start to be active volunteers in the program, because this contributes to school readiness. Monica and her husband serve as role models for others. We always know we can count on the Clowards to be there for our families, offering empathy and compassion, no matter what the task or the situation,” said Bev Sasek, program director, Northland YMCA Head Start. 22
ANDREA HAGENS YMCA Head Start For the past nine months, Andrea Hagens has volunteered with the Head Start program by assisting the administration team with typing and filing as well as preparing delicious food items and baked treats for children and staff. She also served on the Policy Committee at Head Start. “Ms. Andrea gets a lot done and is what you might call a ‘behindthe-scenes volunteer.’ All of the Policy Committee members and staff appreciate all of her hard work and her tasty desserts at our meetings,” said Patty Lucas, vice president of Head Start.
HILLERY HEIGEL Excelsior Springs YMCA Head Start Hillery Heigel is the grandmother of a child enrolled in Head Start. She regularly volunteers in the classroom, donated nearly $500 to purchase supplies and equipment for the center, and serves on the Policy Committee and with the Togetherhood program. She’s a member of the Head Start Parent Committee and the Mid-America Head Start Policy Council. She lends her computer expertise to help with projects and solicits community donations to the Togetherhood Program. “Hillery is very giving of her time and resources to those in need. She sets an excellent example of the true meaning of giving for her grandson as well as to others. She has provided our center with many new books, a sand box and art supplies that the budget does not normally allow for. Her willingness to share information about the site her grandchild attends helps parents gain a better understanding of the Head Start program and helps to increase parent involvement at our site,” said Melanie Brewer, center manager/family advocate, Excelsior Springs YMCA Head Start.
SPIRIT OF SERVICE 2015 — 11 23
CORY KIRBY Liberty YMCA Head Start Cory Kirby started volunteering with the Liberty Head Start site when her child enrolled in the program in 2015. Cory reads to the children, assists with field trips and joins the children during meal times. She’s an artist and volunteers her help with art projects in the classroom. She also encourages the children to try activities that may be new to them. “Cory affects each of our children’s lives as she comes into the center and spends time with them. She interacts with all of the children, not just her own, by working with them and helping them. She also affects our staff by building such strong relationships with them and showing how much she cares about our program, our children and their families. She’s influenced other families to volunteer at our program. She is a kind human being, always willing to listen to the children and their families between class time, even sharing anecdotes with families about the day she and the children shared together,” said Alyssa Howk, center manager, Liberty YMCA Head Start.
CRYSTAL NAYLOR Burlington YMCA Head Start As a foster mother of a child enrolled in the Head Start program, Crystal Naylor has become a very active and supportive volunteer during the past two years. She collected donations to create a festive end-of-the-year celebration. The party featured food, kids’ activities and more thanks to Crystal’s leadership. “We were so thankful for Crystal’s enthusiasm and organization. Her donations extended the contents of the backpacks that each Burlington YMCA Head Start child entering kindergarten will take with them to school,” said Melisa Smitson, program director, Burlington YMCA Head Start.
CEANDREA STRICKLAND Thomas Roque YMCA Head Start Ceandrea Strickland has been a Y volunteer through Head Start since 2014. She has contributed more than 800 hours to the Y during her school year, summer and holiday breaks, all while also maintaining a busy schedule as a college student. She assists the staff by gathering and organizing materials for the day when teachers are unable to leave the classroom. Ceandrea shines by helping with everyday child care duties and helps young students set the tables and prepare for activities. “Ceandrea’s interactions with the children are always positive, and the kids really enjoy when she spends time with them,” said Kyana Bowers, Program Director, Thomas Roque YMCA Head Start.
SPIRIT OF SERVICE 2015 — 11 25
Volunteers from the Blue Springs Togetherhood program work together to help clean and prepare a garden for a residential treatment home for children. 26
Spirit of Service Awards
PROGRAM VOLUNTEERS Thanks to the service of volunteers, the Y is able to offer more ways to enrich the lives of those in our community. Service opportunities range from our national Y volunteer program called Togetherhood, to helping kids of all abilities through Challenger sports, to mentoring youth to achieve higher education and career goals through Young Achievers. Each center and program has a variety of opportunities for engagement. In addition, Youth Volunteer Corps hosted by the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, offers unique opportunity for ages 11-18 to give back through service projects in their community.
DAVID BOCK Challenger David Bock has volunteered more than 400 hours doing something he loves. He works one-on-one with special needs athletes in the Y’s Challenger program, assisting those who require special attention. His kind energy and patience allow him to calm kids, while still keeping up with them. He is great at establishing routines through repetition that builds trust with the children in the program. David not only supports the kids on the field, but he helps make sure they have a safe equipment and places to play. He also provides scholarship assistance to help kids and families in the YMCA Challenger program. “David’s support allows the parents to relax, watch their kids’ sporting activity and even get to know other parents. He is one of our greatest “Buddies” that we’ve had in our Challenger program since it started 10 years ago, and that’s truly a compliment because we’ve had some amazing, remarkable volunteers,” said Raegan Schurr, adaptive program director, YMCA Challenger.
BOBBI, JESSICA AND LESLIE BROILS Young Achievers The Broils triplets serve as mentors, enhancement session leaders and planners, college tour mentors and planners, and most importantly, as caring adults. For the past three years Young Achievers has had a “triple threat team” with the Broils triplets. The Broils sisters started their Y volunteer work in 2014, when Bobbi joined Young Achievers as a mentor, enhancement session leader and college tour mentor. She shared her positive experiences with her sisters. With each school year, another sister joined Young Achievers. They volunteered a combined total of 304 hours. “Bobbi, Jessica and Leslie truly have a heart for giving back to our youth. Whether they’re greeting students with a smile, preparing lessons on how to select a college, or making arrangements for our annual college tour, they do it with the students and families in mind. During the past three years Bobbi, Jessica, and Leslie have served 438 students, volunteered 834 hours and traveled more than 12,000 miles on our college tour,” said Simeon Henderson, executive director, 8th Street Family YMCA. “The Broils triplets are very kind and have giving spirits. They are very positive and wise. Ms. Jessica has been one of my favorite Achievers mentors. She gave me valuable advice on choosing my college. I’m very thankful for all our conversations and everything she shared about her life experiences,” said Amanda Johnson, Young Achievers participant. 28
JENNY BURKHEAD-JOHNSON Challenger Since Challenger’s inception 10 years ago, Jenny Burkhead has been a dedicated volunteer, serving on the Challenger Mission Board. She is the founder and co-chair of the annual event, Cheers for Challenger, and a donor, supporter and advocate for all of the Challenger programs. She has been instrumental in helping support more than 1,500 kids with special needs and their families through Cheers for Challenger. Throughout the years, the event has raised more than $500,000 and helped fund the special needs complex in the northland. And, this has been a family affair for Jenny. She and her daughter Keri, who is also on the Challenger Mission Board, Cheers for Challenger Committee and other Challenger volunteer efforts, work tirelessly for the Challenger participants and the program. “Jenny has been such a big advocate in our community for the Challenger Program, in talking and sharing stories about the positive impact Challenger has for children and their families. Jenny is a true champion for our program and has given her time, talent and treasures to this very special program,” said Michelle Ford, chief development officer, YMCA Challenger Program.
MYLA TOSATTO Challenger Known as the Challenger photographer, Myla Tosatto has 10 years of volunteering and thousands of pictures under her belt. She has photographed Challenger athletes, supporters and donors, Challenge Your Fashion, Cheers events, and the All Star Game. Myla served on the Challenger Mission board for many years, as well as the Challenge Your Fashion Committee that helped raise more than $3 million for the Challenger Sports Complex. She and her son have both been Challenger Buddies. She helps the Challenger staff with Shutterfly accounts and offers Facebook support. She and her son helped start the annual spring dance with Pembroke Upper School. “Myla captures moments of happiness, perseverance, patience, joy and friendship through her lens. Her photos have been featured in our branded materials, billboards, national publications and internally,” said Raegan Schurr, adaptive program director, YMCA Challenger Program. 29
Working together to strengthen communities, Chris Kurtz, David Byrd and Madeline Romious attend the Atchison Family YMCA groundbreaking ceremony.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU The chair of the Board of Directors for YMCA of Greater Kansas City serves a crucial role in helping fulfill our mission to improve our community.
Madeline Romious Board Chair 2014-2016
During the past 10 years Madeline Romious has been a strong advocate for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. As the board chair for 2014-2016 she led the organization through significant fundraising and program initiatives. Under Madeline’s leadership the Y completed fundraising for more than $40 million in capital improvement projects including renovations to the Y facilities in Parkville and Platte City through a partnership with Platte County; and the remodeling and expansion of the Atchison and Linwood Y centers. Expansion of these centers allows the Y to serve more children and families in these communities now and in the future. With Madeline’s leadership as the board chair, the Y updated its strategic plan, launched signature programs including Diabetes Prevention, Blood Pressure Management and Togetherhood, a community volunteer program. As a part of our Y’s on-going commitment to advocacy and serving all, Madeline led the creation of the board-appointed Diversity, Inclusion and Global Council and the Government Relations Council. As a result of Madeline’s leadership, our Y has expanded and improved programs that are impacting thousands in our community, improving their physical, emotional and social well-being.
Madeline continues to serve the Y board as a member of the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee. She was recently appointed to the YMCA National Public Policy Committee, based in Washington, D.C., and will expand her role as an advocate for the Kansas City Y on a national level. “Of the board chairs I have worked with over the years, she’s one of the very best in responsiveness to the needs of the community and conscientiousness, with her strong work ethic and her tireless service,” said David Byrd, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. “She’s never said no. She might say, ‘Not now.’ But never ‘no.’ She’s truly a wonderful person.” Her success as board chair is attributed to her incredible servant orientation, her strong work ethic, her positive outlook and her complete trustworthiness in dealing with people. In addition to her volunteer work with the Y, Madeline is a board member for the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired and PREP-Kansas City, devoted to higher education. As Regional Vice President for External Affairs for AT&T, she also represents AT&T in the philanthropic community in Kansas City.
OUR MISSION The YMCA of Greater Kansas City, founded on Christian principles, is a charitable organization with an inclusive environment committed to enriching the quality of family, spiritual, social, mental and physical well-being. A UNITED WAY AGENCY
Each year, more than 3,200 volunteers give their time and talents to our Y.