Last night, in a ceremony at Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre, we paid tribute to over 200 of the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s most treasured and important assets.
The Y is an organization with many assets: beautiful health and fitness centres for people to reach their fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle; spaces where teenagers and young adults can participate in activities together and build a sense of belonging; wide ranging and engaging child care and family programs; exploratory and fun-filled camping and outdoor education programs; a helpful hand and smile for newcomers and job seekers when they arrive at a resource centre; and so much more.
However, none of this would be possible without the Y’s greatest asset: its people. And last night was a celebration of some of our most dedicated staff members.
Here at the Y, we have over 4,000 year-round employees (this number jumps to over 5,000 in the summer months when our seasonal Day Camp and Overnight Camp staff join the team). All our employees are committed to the Y’s values and mission, and work hard every day to provide top-notch services, resources, and programming to the individuals and families they support in our communities.
As an organization, we are fortunate to have many long-service staff who are so dedicated and passionate about their work. One way we recognize these staff is through our Standing Ovation Program. Every year, we host an annual dinner and awards ceremony to honour the long-service staff that have reached a career milestone of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40 (yes, 40!) years of service. This year, the recipient celebrating his 40 year service anniversary is our very own President and CEO, Medhat Mahdy! The service recognition event is always special, as old and new colleagues and friends come together to share memories, have a laugh, and celebrate their career achievements.
At last night’s celebration, the spotlight was on our staff and their tremendous contributions. Honoured staff and their colleagues who have celebrated milestones before, have been a long-standing and highly valued part of the Y’s ongoing journey. The knowledge and experience they bring to work with them every day is invaluable, and the Y is so fortunate and grateful be a part of their passion, dedication and expertise.
Congratulations to this year’s Standing Ovation Program recipients. Thank you for all you do each day!