Guelph Y Reflects on an Impactful 2016 at Annual General Meeting

GUELPH, Ontario The YMCA-YWCA of Guelph spent Wednesday evening reflecting on an impactful 2016 at the 123rd Annual General Meeting. For the Guelph Y, 2016 was a year for positive change and the organization embarked on new initiatives that helped reach the organization’s mission. In 2016, the Guelph Y hosted the first Power of Being a Girl Conference, bringing together 130 grade seven and grade eight girls to help build self-esteem and develop leadership skills. The organization also began to offer one year memberships, at no cost, to newcomers to Canada. This initiative not only supports individuals from Syria, but it ensures that anyone who is making Canada their new home has a place where they belong. The Guelph Y also provided over $324,000 in financial assistance to members, ensuring that finances are not a barrier to a healthy and active lifestyle in our community.

The Guelph Y welcomed three new Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting. Harold Whiteside, previous Director for the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph, an Alumni Senator and Chair of the Board of Senate at the University of Guelph. Rosemary Fernandes-Walker, results-oriented, strategic National Sales Manager with over 20 years’ experience in the highly competitive Consumer Packaged Goods, Hardware and Building Products industries and Group Leader for Guelph/KW Association of Parent Support Groups of Ontario, as well Women of Distinction™ alumna. Anita Acai, Vice-President, External of the McMaster Women in Science and Engineering Initiative and Women of Distinction™ alumna. Anita is also completing her PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour at McMaster University. The Guelph Y also recognized Board Member, Marijana Dabic who will be retiring this year. Marijana has served on the Guelph Y Board for the past three years and has been the lead for the Community Relations Committee during the last year. Marijana’s dedication to the Guelph Y will be truly missed.

In addition to recapping an impactful 2016 year, Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Vogt, spoke to how the Guelph Y will foster change in our community in 2017, “the Guelph Y has a real opportunity to make a difference in the community and it is needed now more than ever. Never before has there been such a pressing need to provide sustainable solutions for the overall well-being of families and individuals in Guelph and Wellington County,” said Vogt.

The Guelph Y is the catalyst for the health and well-being of youth through every stage of life in Guelph and Wellington County. Vogt discussed how 91% of kids are not getting enough heart-pumping physical activity each day, how 1/3 of children are overweight, and how 1/3 of youth and teens in our community experience low self-esteem. In response to these issues that affect our community, the Guelph Y plans to take action, “the time is now to focus on the well-being of Guelph and Wellington County.”

The Guelph Y would like to thank all those who attended the Guelph Y’s 123rd Annual General Meeting. The issues that our community is currently facing require the efforts of many organizations, government, businesses, philanthropists, and funders to work together to overcoming them. With your support, the Guelph Y is able to achieve our goal of being a catalyst for our community’s well-being through high quality programs and services that meet the needs of a growing and diverse community.

Please click here to view the Guelph Y’s 2016 Annual Report

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Alexandra Reid, Coordinator of Development and Communications at 519-824-5150 ext. 268 or


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