Holden recognized for his outstanding service and leadership as he steps down as Chair of the Board of Directors

The YMCA of Metro North Association honored its outstanding partners, volunteers, and Y Champion Scholarship winners during its 2022 Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 19. The meeting, which was recorded at the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody, honored Chuck Holden, president of Holden Filling Station and the YMCA’s outgoing Chair of the Board of Directors. The YMCA of Metro North also awarded its 2021 Partners of the Year, the Red Cross and Shaw’s and Star Markets for their notable contributions to the YMCA’s mission.

WATCH THE ANNUAL MEETING: https://www.ymcametronorth.org/support/annual-meeting/

Holden, whose term as Board Chair ended at the conclusion of the meeting, helped the YMCA of Metro North navigate during the pandemic, ensuring the YMCA stayed fiscally strong and guiding the association through its reopening and recovery.

“I am so grateful for Chuck’s friendship and leadership these past three years, which have been some of the most challenging and rewarding in our history,” said Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North. “His resolute style kept the board active, engaged, and forward looking to the end of the pandemic, our reopening, and beyond. I can’t thank him enough for his outstanding leadership.”

Holden will remain as a Board Member and volunteer. Andrew Demakes, Operations Director at Old Neighborhood Foods in Lynn, will replace Holden as Chair of the Board of Directors for a three-year term.

“The Board is really here to support the staff and make sure they succeed,” said Chuck Holden. “We’re here as cheerleaders, without Kathleen’s leadership, the amazing staff, and all of our supporters, nothing would get done.”

As Association Partner of the Year, Shaw’s and Star Markets, demonstrated their deep commitment to the mission of the YMCA. As partners, they funded food programs and wellness services, provided free flu shots, and vaccination and inoculation clinics to the community, and volunteered for road races and summer camp clean-up to ensure kids have a great summer at camp.

“We are so proud to receive this award from the YMCA of Metro North,” said Eric Aguiar, District Manager of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Boston North. “I grew up in the Y, and I understand how important it is to be a member of the YMCA and a partner in the community.”

The YMCA of Metro North also awarded The Red Cross with its Community Partner of the Year award. The Red Cross was honored for their commitment to saving lives through disaster, emergency preparedness and response, and blood drives. In 2021 alone, the YMCA partnered with The Red Cross to collect 350 units of blood which saved 1,000 lives.

“It’s a natural fit that the YMCA and The Red Cross are partners,” said David Solimine, Jr., Board Member of the Northeastern Red Cross. “From blood drives to disaster response and beyond, there are so many wonderful things we can do together to comfort and aid our community.”

Volunteer Valerie McCarthy of Nahant was honored with the Ethel Leonard Service Volunteer Award given each year to a volunteer who champions and advances the YMCA in the community.

The meeting also announced its Y Champions which awards scholarships to students who exemplify the values of the YMCA. The scholarships are provided by Warren Waugh of the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group. This year’s winners were April Aldred, from Saugus High, Juliana Pinto, from KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate, and Yassine Backhowch, from Lynn Classical.

“I was a competitive swimmer at the YMCA in high school, and it was instrumental in helping me get a four-year scholarship to college,” said Warren Waugh. “It’s exciting for me and I love giving back towards education.”

You can view the entire meeting online: https://www.ymcametronorth.org/support/annual-meeting/