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More than 400 supporters, donors, and friends of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago are expected to gather for the Y’s upcoming 6th Annual Recognition Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 6-9 p.m. at Chicago’s Morgan Manufacturing in the West Loop. Proceeds from this special event will support the organization’s unwavering commitment to strengthening children, families, and communities throughout the Chicagoland area.

YMCA of Metro Chicago
Recognition Dinner

The annual event will highlight programs that support the Y’s mission to help children, families, and communities thrive through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, and fitness and healthy living. Presentations will show how the YMCA of Metro Chicago has evolved from its traditional swim and gym roots into a thought leader in the analysis and development of early childhood education and youth enrichment programming. Among them will be the new 606Art Program, which uses art as a form of therapy to help youth from the South and West sides of Chicago cope with trauma and violence.

The Recognition Dinner is the YMCA’s largest fundraiser of the year, raising more than $1 million annually to strengthen the Y’s mission and to support the ever-changing needs of Y families and to ensure that all families — regardless of their financial situation — have access to the Y’s unique, family-focused programming. The Y serves more than 200,000 members annually through the association’s 19 city and suburban centers, five resident camps, and dozens of extension sites. 

YMCA of Metro Chicago programming
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago youth program

At the event, the Y will honor three corporate and civic leaders for their immeasurable contributions to in support of the Y’s mission. Their support of the Y has made an indelible impact in the lives of YMCA members and their families, as well as helped to enrich and unite communities across the Chicagoland area. The 2019 honorees are Samuel K. Skinner, Leader Award; ComEd, Partner Award; and Donald Gralen, Volunteer Award. 

Samuel Skinner’s longstanding devotion to Chicagoland truly exemplifies what it means to be a leader. He has served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush, President of Commonwealth Edison, and Senior Partner at three major Chicago law firms: Greenberg Traurig, Hopkins Sutter, and Sidley Austin. He remains steadfast in his dedication to Chicago and the people in it.

Serving northern Illinois for more than 100 years, ComEd, an Exelon Company, powers the lives of more than 4 million families and businesses each day. Like the YMCA, ComEd looks to both innovation and its employees to better serve the people of the community, while staying focused on safety and integrity. To do this, ComEd focuses on both improving reliability and being a generous corporate citizen. Accepting the award on behalf of ComEd is CEO Joe Dominguez.

Over the past 35 years, Donald Gralen, retired senior partner of Sidley Austin, has been a vital part of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s success. Gralen served on the Y’s Board of Managers, was head of the Real Estate Committee for nearly 15 years, and served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for 10 years. Through the years, he has played a key role in many critical real estate transactions for the Y, all of which have helped the organization position itself to more effectively serve our communities.

Your gift to the YMCA will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000. Make a gift today and join us as we work to bring important programming to Chicago youth and families. Donate now!