When the North Suburban YMCA community gathers for the Eighth Annual Strong Kids Fundraising Dinner on April 30, 2014, they will give special recognition to the legacy of dedication represented by the past and present recipients of the Thiel Award for Leadership and Social Responsibility.
This year that honor is to be bestowed upon UPS for its longstanding support of the Y’s mission and programs, and its support of the community at large. UPS joins an elite list of individuals, corporations, and organizations that have taken a key role in providing leadership to the community through their philanthropic works on behalf of dozens of agencies, including the North Suburban YMCA where contributions of money and volunteer time have helped the Y grow into a thriving community center.
The Y’s Thiel Award for Leadership and Social Responsibility was launched eight years ago at the first Ken & Alta Thiel Strong Kids Fundraising Dinner. The Strong Kids Dinner raises funds for the Y’s financial assistance program, keeping Y programs accessible to individuals and families who otherwise might be unable to afford them. The event was named in honor of the late Ken Thiel and his wife Alta, who founded the North Suburban Y over 45 years ago from an office in their Northbrook basement, and worked steadfastly to build a Y community that would serve Chicago’s northern suburbs. The first award was given to Alta and Ken (posthumously), and in 2011 the award was re-named in their honor.
“We were so proud of what the North Suburban YMCA became through the dedication of the community,” notes Alta Thiel, who continues to live in Northbrook at Covenant Village. “The support of donors and volunteers made it possible for us to build a wonderful facility where generations of families have enjoyed programs, exercise, camp, and so much more.”
In each year of the Strong Kids Dinner, the Thiel Award has honored those who have gone above and beyond to support the Y’s mission. Past winners include Ron Bernardi of Sunset Foods, Allstate Insurance, the Northbrook Rotary Club, the Northbrook Woman’s Club, First Bank of Highland Park, and Edward C. Wehmer of Wintrust. This year’s recipient, UPS, has made a significant impact on the North Suburban YMCA’s capital and program growth with major contributions to renovations that have helped make the Y fully accessible, enabled the creation of a new Youth and Family Wellness Center, and provided sponsorships for Healthy Kids Day, the Strong Kids Fund, and other programs, plus hundreds of hours of volunteer time as well.
“The UPS Foundation is honored to support the North Suburban YMCA’s efforts to promote healthy living and fitness for all,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation. “Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”
2014 will be a milestone year for the Ken & Alta Thiel Strong Kids Dinner, as it is expected to surpass the $1.75 million dollar mark for total raised since its inception. With leadership from entities like UPS and other past winners of the Thiel Award, the Y hopes to maintain its mission to provide the widest range of quality programs for all ages, accessible to everyone in the community. Last year, the Y provided approximately $530,000 in program fee reductions to families in need.
The 2014 Ken & Alta Thiel Strong Kids Dinner will be held on April 30, 2014 from 5:30 to 9:30pm, at the Hilton Chicago-Northbrook, 2855 North Milwaukee Avenue. For ticket or sponsorship information, visit www.nsymca.org or contact Barb Flanagin, email@example.com.
North Suburban YMCA
The YMCA is a not-for-profit entity and relies on donations to make services accessible for all families and individuals. All board members are community volunteers, who donate their time, talents and financial resources. Located at 2705 Techny Road in Northbrook, the YMCA has served area families in its fifteen-city region for over 45 years. The Y is for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, providing programs and services that meet the needs of our community and are accessible to all. For more information or to make a donation, call Barb Flanagin at 847-272-7250, or visit www.nsymca.org.