Norwich Y celebrates ‘heroes’ at volunteer recognition event

NORWICH – As a nonprofit organization that leans heavily the shoulders of volunteers, the Norwich Family YMCA appreciates every set of helping hands it can get. Recently, volunteers at the Y were lauded at the annual “Hero Awards,” a celebration ceremony to spotlight the organization’s many volunteers.

Each year, the Y calls out volunteers who help maintain its mission of building strong communities in recognition of the vital role they play. From mentoring to facility maintenance, volunteers are the “lifeblood of any organization,” said Norwich YMCA Executive Director James Mullen.

“Volunteers come in many shapes, sizes, colors, ages, religions, cultures and more. Volunteers are the canvas of what the YMCA stands for and was conceived from,” said Mullen.

The Y depends on an estimated 600 volunteers from year to year, logging tens of thousands of volunteer hours at events like the Gus Macker three on three basketball tournament, the Turkey Trot 5K road race, and the Halloween Parade. But volunteers are also necessary for a host of day-to-day functions at the Y, such as leading its board of directors, coordinating community events and tournaments, coaching sport teams and fitness classes, reading to pre schoolers, giving monetary contributions, and doing the “behind the scenes” work that keeps the facility running smoothly.

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