Annual Award Winners | West Suburban YMCA

Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner

May 22, 2019

On Thursday, May 16th we celebrated our 142nd Annual Report to the Community with a Celebration & Awards Dinner.

Congratulations to the following volunteers, members and staff:



Teen Citizen Award - Over the past two years, Josh Cook has worked for both Camp Pikati and Out-of-School time where he has been reliable, responsible, caring and at all times professional. He is patient and kind with the children he oversees and respectful and friendly to Y staff and membership. He has been a ray of light in our program and we are grateful to have had him.


Youth Award - Suzannah Dangelo has been a long-time participant in the Adaptive Swim program here at the Y. Despite all of Suzannah’s unique challenges, she is one of the most upbeat, caring, honest and respectful young people we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Her positive attitude and fierce desire to be a better swimmer has led her outside of her comfort zone to accomplish feats she didn’t think were possible.




Youth Award - Anna Gately has grown up at CFAD and, last summer, she blossomed in to an incredible LIT/counselor. She loves and cares so deeply about her kids and the feeling is obviously reciprocated. Anna is  responsible and hard-working - no job is too big or small for her to take on. 




Adult Volunteer Award - Tabitha Baskin is a talented musician who specializes in the ukulele and who has volunteered in our preschool since March 2018. The children look forward to music with her every week because she uses patience and humor to captivate their attention. Because of her time and energy, our preschoolers and staff look forward to a fun Friday morning of singing and laughing.


Adult Volunteer Award - Mike Daniels has been with the membership department for a year and truly exemplifies the core values of the YMCA. When he’s not making Happy Birthday calls to our members, he’s enthusiastically greeting members and staff in the lobby. We’re lucky to have such a friendly and passionate volunteer with us each week.



Commitment to Excellence Award - The success of the sports department is due in large part to Josh’s attention to detail, willingness to go the extra mile, and his commitment to continually improving how he instructs. He was instrumental in bringing quality teams to the Men’s Basketball league, provides private lessons to members and offers a quality member experience for those involved in our programs as evidenced by the class retention. A true team player, Josh also drove the van 5 days a week for most of 2018, providing transportation to children in the OST program. His hard work does not go unnoticed.



 Commitment to Excellence Award - Congratulations Meghan Missett, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications! In one short year, Meghan has significantly influenced the overall marketing efforts for this organization in a positive way with a dedicated work ethic, an uncanny ability to organize and deliver large volumes of content to multiple audiences, and a caring and respectful professional demeaner. She has transformed our social media presence across all platforms, redesigned key print pieces, and redesigned our email marketing efforts. Everything Meghan works on is better in the end.



Living our Cause Award - Assistant Director of Aquatics, Kelly Barker! Over the past year, Kelly Barker has dedicated her time to increasing enrollment in our Adaptive Swim lessons, which are designed to give children with disabilities opportunities to participate in swim lessons while focusing on developing both physical and social skills that will last a lifetime. Kelly has invested her time to speak with each of the families interested in signing up and our enrollments have expanded exponentially. She is committed to continuing her education to improve the experience for our swimmers.



Living our Cause Award - Jane Carroll, our Health & Wellness Director, is the second winner of the Living Our Cause Award. In the fall of 2018, Jane founded the Girl Empower program, a program that focuses on building self-esteem, heightening social media awareness and safety, and nutrition and self-care education. In addition, the girls were introduced to physical activity as a way to relieve strength and to stay healthy. As the lead instructor, Jane recruited 7 girls to participate and the feedback was very positive from both the parents and participants.



The Bob Groden Y Employee of the Year Award was established by Ned Morse and his family shortly after the tragic death of Bob Groden in 1998. The Morse family chose to honor Mr. Groden for his commitment to the YMCA’s youth and sport departments and to create an award that recognizes a committed and exemplary YMCA employee.

This employee is what you call a “swiss-army knife” – they do it all. This rockstar serves the Y community in almost every department and is willing to help at the drop of a hat. This person’s impact is felt across departments and increases the member experience. This person started working part-time as a sports instructor and fitness floor staff, pursued and achieved a certification in personal training, began working with OST as a part-time counselor and recently completed the process to become a 7D licensed driver to assist with student transportation. When you think of our Y, you can’t help but think of our Employee of the Year. You heard about him earlier, and you can tell we’re better for having him on our team. Please join me in congratulating Seamus Bruno!



The Ken Billings- Frank O’Halloran Award - Congratulation Tom Elkind! This award honors and recognizes an extraordinary member who has made a long-term commitment to our Y and whose caring influence has helped shape others in a positive way.  To honor both Ken Billings and Frank O’Halloran and their legacies, the Y recognizes a long-term adult member or volunteer who demonstrates the personal qualities so characteristic of these two gentlemen. And between the two of them, they represent over 120 years of membership.



Community Partner Award - Congratulations Deloitte!  While every Community Partner and Supporter is valued beyond measure, the WSYMCA will annually recognize one partner that demonstrates the qualities that have enabled the West Suburban Y to deliver community strengthening programs and services over the past year.  Nominees are supporters in all ways up to and including: volunteerism, in-kind support, expertise, capital campaign support, annual campaign support and advocacy.



Congratulations to our 2018 Award Winners!