The end of September (Sept. 22-24, 2020) held the Illinois Fall Staff Rally hosted by the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs, made up of 44 YMCAs from across the state. The rally takes place every fall in Normal, IL. There are breakout sessions that cover all areas of the YMCA, peer resource groups, networking opportunities, and peer-nominated awards. This year, the event was held virtually over the course of 3 days. Our leadership staff team was given the opportunity to attend sessions covering a wide-variety of topics including DIG initiatives, membership, leadership, administration topics, and more.
Many awards are given out over the course of the rally. Awards are given for outstanding program directors, program excellence, and this year for the first time - COVID response awards.
Out of 17 awards given at the rally, the Two Rivers YMCA took home nearly a third of the awards:
- Our Essential Childcare program received the Program Excellence Award: “This award celebrates a Y program that is innovative and making a difference in the community.” The Essential Childcare program was put into place before the end of March and served Essential Workers with a safe place for their children so they could continue to work during the Shelter in Place order.
- Accounting Director, Leslee Schueneman received the Outstanding Admin of the Year Award: “This award goes to someone who provides exemplary service to their Y operation and is a dedicated team member.” Leslee has provided critical support for our Y and team members. It's the behind-the-scenes support that most people never see that helps make us so successful. Leslee has been invaluable!
- Director of Youth Achievement & Community Engagement, Daisy Moran received the DIG Award: “This award recognizes a leader in the movement whose efforts focus on outreach to diverse and underserved communities and driving program innovation so that everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from, has an opportunity to reach their full potential.” Daisy has made such a difference to our Y and has created amazing community engagement opportunities for everyone! She is incredibly passionate about what she does and our Y is better for it.
- CEO Mike Wennekamp received the Illini Chief Club Award: “This award recognizes a current CEO who provides extraordinary leadership by exemplifying the Y's values and mission.” Mike has been an outstanding leader and pushed us all to adapt, overcome, and continue to serve our community regardless of the pandemic and challenging circumstances.
- The Two Rivers YMCA received the Outstanding IL YMCA COVID Award: “This award recognizes a Y who has pivoted successfully to serve their community during the pandemic. This Y has shown exceptional tenacity in dealing with sudden changes in all aspects of operations, while also continuing to be true to their mission and members.” We are honored to receive this award and are looking forward to continuing serving our community.