Spirit of Service

Connect. Serve. Together.

Each year, more than 3,600 volunteers give their time and talent at the Y to strengthen the community. Our annual Spirit of Service volunteer celebration recognizes top volunteers from each of the Y's centers and programs who embody an aspect of the Y's promise of strengthening the foundation of our community.

2016 Hero of the Heart Award: Eric and Tonya Groves.

2017 Spirit of Service Awards

Join us on November 16, 2017, for the 7th annual Spirit of Service volunteer celebration event as we present outstanding individuals and community partners with the following volunteer and fundraising awards.

  • HERO OF THE HEART AWARD - Pays tribute to a person or organization who has shown extraordinary, long-time dedication to advancing the Y’s mission throughout the Greater Kansas City community.
  • ACTIVE OLDER ADULT VOLUNTEER AWARD - Recognizes volunteers who are 65 and older who make a difference in the community through volunteerism.
  • COMMUNITY PARTNER AWARD - Salutes government entities, organizations, companies or individuals that are an outstanding partner in fulfilling the Y’s commitment to meeting community needs.
  • SPIRIT OF SERVICE AWARD - Recognizes volunteers for sharing their time and talent in the YMCA of Greater Kansas City centers and programs to strengthen the foundation of our community.
  • YOUTH VOLUNTEER AWARD - Recognizes young individuals ages 19 and younger who have shown exemplary service to the community or Y through volunteerism. 
  • MENTOR AWARD - Honors those individuals who support and positively impact youth by serving as a mentor.
  • MEMBERSHIP AND PROGRAM VOLUNTEER AWARD - Presented to volunteers who have significantly and positively impacted the ability of the Y to deliver on its mission through membership and programs.
  • OUTREACH VOLUNTEER AWARD - Honors volunteers whose work has impacted the community through programs such as Togetherhood community projects, food programs and service to other community organizations.
  • YOUTH SPORTS VOLUNTEER AWARD - Presented to individuals who have volunteered their time to coach in the Y’s Youth Sports programs and have impacted youth by exemplifying the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
  • KIRK FAMILY PHILANTHROPY AWARD - Named in recognition of the Kirk Family’s long philanthropic involvement with the Y, this award recognizes an individual or organization for their
  • outstanding philanthropic work.
  • FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR AWARD - Recognizes volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to YMCA fundraising through their actions and leadership.
  • EAGLE AWARD - Recognizes the center or program area that best exemplifies excellence in annual campaign fundraising.

Spirit of Service Class of 2016

Congratulations to all the volunteers recognized this year! Your efforts make our organization and our communities stronger. Y centers, programs and early education programs nominate a volunteer for their exemplary work. 

Hero of the Heart Award

  • Eric and Tonya Groves, Togetherhood

Kirk Family Philanthropic Award

  • Hall Family Foundation

Center Volunteers

  • Jake Blake, Bonner Springs Family YMCA
  • Rich and Natalie Canale, Paul Henson Family YMCA
  • Judy Coles, North Kansas City YMCA
  • Angela Gutierrez, 8th Street Family YMCA
  • Brandon Johnson, Red Bridge Family YMCA
  • Michael Jones, Cleaver Family YMCA
  • Dominga Levin, Linwood Family YMCA
  • Wayne Lueckenhoff, Atchison Family YMCA
  • Matt Maciel, Olathe Family YMCA
  • Jim McCall, Platte County Community Center South
  • Vic Perrin, Platte County Community Center North
  • Mike Talbert, Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center
  • Greg Westbrook, YMCA of Greater Kansas City Association Resource Center

Youth and Education Volunteers

  • CyJuan Anderson, Columbus Park YMCA Head Start
  • Monica and Jacob Cloward, Northland YMCA Head Start
  • Andrea Hagens, YMCA Head Start
  • Hillery Heigel, Excelsior Springs YMCA Head Start
  • Cory Kirby, Liberty YMCA Head Start
  • Crystal Naylor, Burlington YMCA Head Start
  • Ceandrea Strickland, Thomas Roque YMCA Head Start
Program Volunteers
  • David Bock, Challenger
  • Bobbi, Jessica and Leslie Broils, Young Achievers
  • Jenny Burkhead-Johnson, Challenger
  • Myla Tosatto, Challenger

Spirit of Service Class of 2015

Hero of the Heart Award

This award recognizes an individual or an organization for extraordinary dedication to advancing the Y’s mission throughout the greater Kansas City community.

2015 Recipient

  • Pro Athlete, Inc.

Spirit of Service Class of 2015

Center Volunteers

  • Stacy Benninghoff, Platte County Community Center North
  • Anissa Brown, 8th Street Family YMCA
  • Jon Burke, Blue Springs Family YMCA
  • Pat Burns, Paul Henson Family YMCA
  • Braden Curd, Cleaver Family YMCA
  • Don Grimm, Platte County Community Center South
  • Al Hupp, YMCA of Greater Kansas City Association Resource Center
  • Sonja Luke, Bonner Springs Family YMCA
  • Sharon (Sassy) Malcolm, Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center
  • Darren Odum, Olathe Family YMCA
  • Valerie Peterson, Atchison Family YMCA
  • Carl Price, Linwood Family YMCA
  • Martha Shadley, Red Bridge Family YMCA
  • Al Steed, North Kansas City YMCA
  • Andrew Tate, Quality Hill YMCA

Child Care and Educaton Centers

  • Steve and Linda Espeer, YMCA Maple Woods Early Learning Center
  • Liz Stone, Olathe Family YMCA Early Learning Center  
  • Julie Bates, Park Hill YMCA Head Start
  • Kanetha Knolley, Thomas Roque YMCA Head Start
  • Alicia McKnight, YMCA Head Start
  • Kathy Merola, Columbus Park YMCA Head Start
  • Norb Stracker, Northland YMCA Head Start
  • Bridgett Swanson, Excelsior Springs YMCA Head Start
  • Jorge Perez, Liberty YMCA Head Start
  • In Memory of Rick Alvarez, Youth Development Services

Program Volunteers

  • Lisa Foitle, YMCA Challenger
  • Darius Jackson, Young Achievers
  • Paul Prue, YMCA Sports
  • Sveta Quick, Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City

Spirit of Service Class of 2014

Congratulations to Frank Kirk, recipient of the Hero of the Heart award for his long-time commitment to the Y as a board member, advocate and fundraiser. Father and daughter team Bud Cray and Karen Seaberg received the Spirit of Service Award for their lifetime contributions to the Atchison Family YMCA.

Spirit of Service Class of 2014

  • Kristen Bayles
  • Angela Bond
  • India Boulton
  • Kathie Conwell
  • Jeni Cosgrove
  • Bud Cray and Karen Seaberg
  • Elmer Denis
  • Kevin Dobbins
  • Rick, Cornelia, Jack and Max Frazier
  • Debbie and Gordon Harris
  • Claude Harris
  • Brent Kahler Jr.
  • Ernie Ketcham
  • Chris Kurtz
  • Fred Manyawu
  • Samantha Mills
  • Jenny Myers
  • Danielle O'Dell
  • Sara Beth Richard
  • Mark Schmidt
  • Stacy Scroggins
  • Kellie Sneed
  • Robert Sullivan

Become a Volunteer

Are you inspired to make a difference by volunteering? Whether you would like to help with a special event or sign up to coach a youth sports team, there are lots of ways to volunteer at the Y. Explore upcoming volunteer opportunities through our volunteer Project Catalog.

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