YMCA-USA Honors Sen. Richard Shelby with Award

News | Mary Anne Swanstrom | March 30, 2019

From left are Kevin Ketzler, Chief Volunteer Officer, YMCA of Greater Montgomery; Leonard Speed, President of the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County; Jeff Reynolds, Senior Vice President of Financial Development, YMCA of Greater Montgomery; Sen. Richard Shelby; Jerry Courtney, Heart of the Valley YMCA President/CEO; Parker Reynolds; and Sam Adams, Vice President of Youth Programming, YMCA of Greater Montgomery.

Heart of the Valley YMCA CEO Jerry Courtney was part of the Alabama delegation to the 2019 YMCA National Advocacy Days in Washington D.C. March 4-6. YMCA of the USA selected Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL, to be honored with the prestigious Congressional Champion Award. The award is the highest recognition that the YMCA of the USA gives to a congressional leader lauding their support and legislative efforts on behalf of the families and children served by the YMCA. The Alabama delegation included Heart of the Valley YMCA President/CEO Jerry Courtney; Kevin Ketzler, Jeff Reynolds, Parker Reynolds and Sam Adams, YMCA of Greater Montgomery; and Leonard Speed, YMCA of Selma-Dallas County.

The Alabama delegation also paid a visit to Sen. Doug Jones, D-AL, and his staff.

During National Advocacy Days, the YMCA movement was recognized by the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps as a recipient of The Order of Saint Martin of Tours, given to the Y for “tireless support to the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. COL Jonathan Shaw, U.S. Army Chaplain, presented the medal to Kevin Washington, President and CEO of the YMCA of the USA accepting it on behalf of the entire organization. The YMCA raised $192 million in 1918, in conjunction with six other welfare organizations, to fund “huts” where front line combat soldiers could enjoy respite and relaxation in places where little would have been available to them. This would amount to $3.5 billion in today’s dollars.  View a slideshow of vintage photos and images from the era set to the music of Irving Berlin’s “The Y.M.C.A.”

Heart of the Valley YMCA continues the work of the Y to support our Military individuals and their families through fee assistance, free membership for families of deployed soldiers and programs and camp for their children. In 2018, our Association provided more than $129,300 in membership and programs to serve our local Military men and women.

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