Here’s to the Next Hundred Years for the Rye Y:
Two years in the making and after 100 years of healthy living, the Rye YMCA celebrated its Centennial with a star-studded gala October 25 at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center.
Two years in the making and after 100 years of healthy living, the Rye YMCA celebrated its Centennial with a star-studded gala October 25 at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center. It was an evening of laughter, excitement and perhaps even a few tears of pride among the 350 Y members, supporters, and staff.
During the cocktail hour, which was held in the Center’s elegant main lobby, guests enjoyed performances by members of the Y’s gymnastics team, as well as Rye High School musicians. Guests were then led into the theater for dinner, and in a twist, were seated at tables on the stage facing the darkened auditorium for dinner and the evening’s entertainment.
Board President and Emcee Kevin Tice kept the program moving. Executive Director Gregg Howells spoke about the lives changed at the Y. Phil Moyles led a lively auction. A video highlighting the Y of yesterday and today preceded the presentation of the Gold Spirit Awards by Trustee Tom Murphy to Lucien Burnett and Pati Holmes.
The Gold Spirit Awards are the Rye Y’s highest volunteer honor. Burnett is a former co-chair of the Rye Derby and served on the Y’s board of directors until 2004. He is a current trustee. He is also a past board member of Clearpool, Inc., one of the first charter school programs focused on under-served districts in Bedford-Stuyvesant and the Bronx. He is now a board member of The Osborn and The Osborn Foundation.
Holmes joined the Rye Y’s Board of Directors in 2004 and served on its Executive Board from 2007 to 2010. She also chaired the Board Development Committee and served on the Finance and Special Events committees. Pati has contributed her time and talents to the Rye City School District’s Curriculum Council and to Midland School as president of the PTO. She served on the board of the Rye Rangers Hockey Association and is a co-founder of the Heard in Rye Speakers’ Bureau. She currently volunteers for My Sister’s Place, where she is helping further the organization’s efforts to end domestic violence.
The evening was capped off by a 45-minute stand-up routine by actor, author, and comedian Paul Reiser of “Mad About You” fame. After riffing about the strangeness of performing with his back to the auditorium, Reiser kept the crowd in stitches as he hilariously commented on aging, his family, technology, and the difference between men and women.
The gala was not only a birthday celebration for the Rye Y, but also raised funds to support the organization’s financial assistance program, which last year awarded more than $625,000 in aid to our neighbors in need; community health work; and the centennial campaign to ensure the Y’s future.
Hats off to Co-Chairs Terry Tolley and Mark Doran and the amazing Rye Y staff. Thanks to major sponsors Greenwich Hospital, Houlihan Lawrence, Julia B. Fee/Sotheby’s, and Grasso Development.
“This event was a home run in every possible way,” said Gregg Howells. “It’s been a very exciting Centennial year. Even though it’s not over yet, we’re looking toward the future and it looks brighter than ever.”
— Photos by JoAnn Cancro