Tickets are on sale now for the Annual Gala — McGaw YMCA’s premiere fundraiser to support its life-changing youth programs — which will be held on January 21, 2017.
The McGaw YMCA strengthens community through a variety of innovative, research-based programs that help youth develop their full potential. Our Annual Gala provides support for these programs, many of which are free to youth and their families.
This year, the McGaw YMCA is proud to recognize three community leaders who have not only shown steadfast support of McGaw’s youth programs, but of youth in the Evanston community as a whole. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, together with Robert and Patty Reece, will be presented as honorees at the Gala.
Robert Reece grew up attending the Emerson YMCA and became the first African American chair of the McGaw YMCA Board of Directors. At the Gala, Mr. Reece will award this year’s recipient for the Talley-Reece Award, which was established to recognize a youth who has made a significant community service contribution. Patty Reece devoted her career to teaching, and now serves a variety of organizations, including as chairperson of the Warren W. “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund.
Elizabeth Tisdahl, who will step down after eight years as Evanston mayor, has worked tirelessly for youth, both as mayor and during her prior service as an alderman and Evanston Township High School board member and chair. One of Mayor Tisdahl’s trademark initiatives has been the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, and she was a founding member of Mothers Against Gangs in 1987.
This year’s Gala will also spotlight our four signature youth programs that respond to critical social needs — including addressing the achievement gap and providing positive role models —and are provided at no cost to families: Y Readers, Project SOAR, MetaMedia, and Y Achievers. This fiscal year, we plan to invest over $1 million in these programs. This is in addition to the $1.9 million in fee assistance to ensure that everyone in our community has access to McGaw YMCA programs and services.