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‘Y’ gala celebrates 125 years

Over 400 guests assembled at the McGaw YMCA Saturday for a gala celebration kicking off the organization’s 125th year.

Entitled "Back (and) to the Future," the party benefited the YMCA’s youth programs.

Guests, costumed as everything from 1920s flappers to futuristic beings and everything in between, gave generously.

The event was chaired by Laurie Vree, and with the aid of over 40 volunteers, the Sebring-Lewis Center at the YMCA was for five hours given over to the celebration of 125 years of building community and changing futures in Evanston.

125th Anniversary Co-Chairs Bob Reece, Patty Reece, Jan Hazlett (as Annie Oakley), Tom Hazlett (as Doc Brown). (Photos courtesy of Evanston Photographic Studios Inc.)

Among the guests were: Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl; former Mayor Lorraine Morton; and the co-chairs of the entire Y anniversary year, Patty and Bob Reece and Jan and Tom Hazlett. Board Chair Vickie Burke and ‘Y’ President and Bill Geiger welcomed the guests.

One of the highlights of the evening was the premier showing of a short film by Susan Hope Engel, "The YMCA in Evanston – 125 Years Strong," on the history of the McGaw YMCA and the Emerson Street Branch YMCA, featuring interviews with people and families whose lives have been touched by the YMCAs in Evanston, in many cases across several generations.

Premier sponsors of this event and of the entire anniversary year’s activities are: Harris Bank; the Lewis-Sebring Foundation; Northwestern University; and Romano Brothers & Co. Additional event sponsors are Hagerty Consulting, SchiffHardin, LLI, First Bank & Trust, Brown, Kaplan and Liss, LLI, Coldwell Banker, Evanston Capital Management, and Resurrection Health Care.

More anniversary activities are planned, including a Brillianteen Alumni Revue in March and "Unforgettable," an event to honor the Emerson Street Branch Y in May.

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