Andrew Neilly / Nancy Amaral
Andrew@Gallen.com / Nancy@Gallen.com
YMCA of the East Bay Sets Gold Standard for Volunteerism with First Annual ‘DIFFY’ Awards
Expanded Awards Program Recognizes Individuals
from the Y as well as Other East Bay Nonprofits and Institutions
OAKLAND, CA – October 8, 2013 – The YMCA of the East Bay celebrates volunteerism throughout the East Bay next week when it hosts its 134th Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition Awards Ceremony.
In addition to recognizing exemplary volunteers working at the Y’s branches throughout the region in 2013, YMCA of the East Bay will, for the first time, also recognize individuals who have donated time to a number of other ‘partner’ organizations in the East Bay. These organizations include: Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative, Early Childhood Mental Health Program, Making Waves, Mindful Life, Level Playing Field and Richmond Main Street.
“As the largest and longest serving deployer and trainer of volunteers in the Bay Area, the YMCA of the East Bay has long been keenly aware of the critical role played by volunteers to any nonprofit organization. Volunteers strengthen the foundation of the community and so, we say, the more the merrier. We have recognized our volunteers in an awards program for years but we felt it was time to create an awareness of the importance of volunteerism throughout our communities,” said Robert Wilkins, President & CEO of the YMCA of the East Bay. “We hope the DIFFY will create a ‘gold standard’ for volunteerism, drawing attention to the vital role played by volunteers and encouraging more individuals to support our partners, the Y and other East Bay nonprofits and institutions,” he added.
The awards ceremony will take place Wednesday, October 16 at the Oakland Marriott from 7:00-9:00 pm and the program will include a performance of inspirational music by the Oakland Jazz Choir, itself an East Bay nonprofit featuring volunteers performing throughout the Bay Area including in local schools, as well as senior and community centers and drug rehab facilities.
A full list of award recipients from the Y and the other nonprofits will be released at the awards ceremony. Some of the award recipients already announced include:
· Tikal Ramirez and Su Zachary of East Bay Regional Parks District
· Rand Swenson and Jay Gilson of Regional Parks Foundation
· Joanne Gunson and Heather Rizzoli of The Pleasanton Community of Character Collaborative
· Don Saita and Faride Khalaf of the Chabot Space and Science Center
· Jane Klein and Annette Miller of GO Public Schools
· Marsha Modarres and Tico Chacin of Youth Enrichment Strategies of Richmond
About the East Bay Y System:
The YMCA of the East Bay is one of Northern California's largest non-profit trainers and deployers of volunteers. Last year, the East Bay YMCA trained more than 500 volunteers in programs ranging from childcare to teen enrichment, health and wellness and cultural harmony. With nine branches and almost 50 childcare centers in operation from Fremont to the Yolo County, the East Bay YMCA Association also has the largest geographic reach of any YMCA operation in North America. Formed as a 501 (c) (3) corporation on July 20, 1879, the not-for-profit East Bay YMCA operates branches in downtown Oakland, Fremont, Newark, Hayward, Castro Valley, Richmond, and Dublin, as well as camps in Livermore, Pescadero (San Mateo County) and Redway (Humboldt County). All locations are for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.