The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas celebrated our Heritage Club dinner at the Fairmont Hotel on Monday October 3rd. The YMCA Heritage Club is a group of donors who determined that the mission, values and programs of the YMCA should be perpetuated for children and families in the 23 communities served by the YMCA, and so have left the YMCA in their estate plan. Also in attendance were our Chairman’s Roundtable members that consist of individuals, corporations and foundations who also believe that the YMCA’s programs should be supported. Chairman’s Roundtable members want their gifts to begin immediately serving the thousands of children and families who come to the YMCA every day for the hope the YMCA offers.
As an organization we depend on the generosity of our community, which appropriately is made of a triangle of givers. One side is our annual Partner’s Campaign which funds our programs year after year, another side is our Endowment and Planned gifts which are designed to help the Y grow over time and sustain us in the future, and the final side is our Capital Fund which we participate in to grow our facilities and depth in the neighborhoods we serve.
On Monday we had an opportunity to hear an update on the YMCA Foundation. Over the years the Foundation Fund has grown and as of September 30th the fund value is $19,800,264. Over the past 10 years the YMCA Foundation delivered to the YMCA $901,137 for their use in program and scholarship support. And, in 2011 the Foundation delivered to the YMCA $901,137 for their use in program and scholarship support.
Our Key Note Speaker, Bob Knowling, was able to stay and sign books given to each participant. Bob is the chairman of Eagles Landing Partners, and former CEO of Telwares, SimDesk Technologies, and Covad Communications. He has lead large organizations through periods of dramatic transformation. But even more impressive than Knowling’s resume is the road he took to the top. He grew up as one of thirteen children in Indiana, shuttling between the homes of his divorced parents, surrounded by crime, poverty, drug abuse and racism. Later he lived and worked on his grandparents farm in Missouri. No one encouraged him to have big ambitions or even bothered to ask, what do you want to be when you grow up? But, Bob Knowling used his athletic and academic talents to earn a college scholarship and later an MBA.
The YMCA played an integral role in Bob’s success. Growing up as a kid at the Kokomo YMCA in Indiana, Bob considered the Y his second home. He says, “The Y built an academic and religious foundation that would stay with me all my life. I learned about values, about Christianity at the Kokomo YMCA.” Bob says that his mother’s guidance and courage inspired him, but the YMCA gave him the environment and opportunity to grow as a young man. He has tried to return the favor by staying involved with the Y throughout his adult life.