The YMCA of Metro North proudly hosted its Annual Meeting on May 16, 2024 bringing together staff, members, volunteers, and supporters to celebrate a year of resilience, growth, and impact. The event at Marriott in Peabody served as a platform to honor outstanding individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and leadership in advancing the YMCA’s mission.

“We are immensely proud to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our awardees and the collective impact of our YMCA community,” said Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North. “Their dedication, passion, and commitment to serving others truly embody the spirit of the YMCA, and we are grateful for their invaluable contributions to our organization and the communities we serve.”

The YMCA of Metro North gave out awards recognizing outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the YMCA community. Among this year’s esteemed awardees:

Youth Champion of the Year Award to James Runner, Lynn Public Schools
The Youth Champions are recognized for the profound impact they have on the lives of children and teens at the YMCA and beyond, and their active involvement developing the mind, body, and spirits of young people in our community.

Community Partner of the Year Award: Bertolino Foods
Acknowledged Bertolino Foods for their exemplary partnership with the YMCA of Metro North and for being outstanding corporate citizens since they moved their headquarter to Peabody in 2020.

Heroes Among Us Award: Torigian Emergency Response Team
Presented by Captain Scott Richards, the Heroes Among Us award recognized the team of Cara Green, Debbie Wilkins, Emily Milewska, Bob Feeney, Theo Gjikuria, and Mark Lacaillade who on January 22, 2024 performed CPR on a Torigian Family YMCA member who collapsed from a cardiac event. The quick response from the team saved the man’s life.

Ethel Leonard Service Award: Charles Whipple, Board Member 2010-2024
The Ethel Leonard Service Award honors Charles Whipple for his 14-year service as a board member of the YMCA of Metro North and was instrumental in sheparding the organization through its merger of the Greater Lynn YMCA and the Melrose Family YMCA in 2012.

Y Champion Scholarship Winners
The Y Champion Scholarship awards active Y members and employees who are high school seniors, in vocational training, or a current college student for displaying the YMCA values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility in their work to strengthen their community. The winners are:
Nicholas Bjork (Melrose); Ashley Correggio (Peabody); Megan Jancaitis (Melrose); Makayla McAleer (Lynn); Keury Mena (Lynn); Boston Trang (Saugus)

Appreciation of Service: Andrew Demakes
The Appreciation of Service award honors Andrew Demakes for his exceptional dedication and contributions to the YMCA of Metro North as Board Chair for the past three years.

You can read the YMCA of Metro North Annual Report online:

And, watch the Annual Report video: