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‘Y’ draws 500 to annual gala

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The 2017 McGaw YMCA Annual Gala, held on Saturday evening, drew 500 business, civic, and philanthropic leaders to celebrate its focus on strengthening the lives of young people.

McGaw officials say iniital estimates indicate this year’s event raised about $300,000 — roughly double the amount raised from the same event two years ago.

“The event was truly Evanston at its best, with strong representation from across our diverse community, coming together to celebrate our shared values,” said McGaw YMCA Board of Directors Chair Pat Maunsell.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, together with Robert and Patty Reece, were honored at the Gala for their steadfast support of not only the McGaw YMCA, but of programs and scholarships that support youth across Evanston.

“These leaders have worked for decades to open doors for young people,” said Maunsell. “The McGaw YMCA is honored to count them as three of the many dedicated volunteers who make a difference for Evanston youth.”

This year’s gala focused on McGaw YMCA’s youth programs that address critical social needs, including the achievement gap and character formation: Y Readers, Project SOAR, MetaMedia, and Y Achievers. This fiscal year alone, the McGaw YMCA will invest over $1 million in these signature programs.

“From elementary school to high school, the McGaw YMCA is providing a continuum of high-quality learning experiences, at no cost to their families,” said Mark A. Dennis, Jr, McGaw YMCA President and CEO. “We are grateful for the growing number of supporters who are helping to strengthen our community.”

Perrion McClinton, was also honored with the Talley-Reece Award for making significant contributions to his community. Through his volunteer efforts at Camp Echo, the McGaw YMCA, and Pope John School, the 8th grader exemplifies what it means to be a caring role model.

McGaw YMCA’s Annual Gala would not be possible without the generous support of our donors, particularly our presenting sponsor, Northwestern University, as well as the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation and the Tom F. and Susan P. Moran Family Foundation. Make It Better Media provided media sponsorship.

Other sponsors include Hagerty Consulting, Inc., Presbyterian Homes, BMO Harris Bank, LCM Architects, Life Fitness, Mark Vend Co., First Bank and Trust, Presence Saint Francis Hospital, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Additional sponsors were: Lynn and Jay Ryan, The Alford Group, Chase Bank, Lemoi Hardware, Kiwanis Club of Evanston, Temperance Beer Co., Wellness Revolution, M2 Communications, Evanston Capital Management, Ernst & Young, LLP, and Jeffery D. Kahla, Major General, USAF (Ret.) and Joan Kahla.

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