By Kathy L. Collins

The Tampa YMCA 2017 Community Impact Dinner, is an opportunity for attendees to learn about the Tampa YMCA’s real impact on the community. In addition, awards are given to dignitaries and Volunteers of the Year from each of the Tampa YMCA’s 15 branches are recognized.

From the North Brandon Y, Mike Hurlburt, was selected as Volunteer of the Year. Hurlburt is a past board chair and just stepped down from nine years of service. Hurlburt was one of the driving forces behind the Y’s Lopez Exceptional Student Center Christmas Project. Children from the center receive Christmas presents thanks to the efforts of volunteers such as Hurlburt.

The Volunteer of the Year from the Campo Family Y is Michelle Smith. As Chair of the Youth Development Committee, Smith was instrumental in getting a large courtyard completely renovated. According to Dwight Kerr, Development Director, “The committee had a dream to convert a dirty unused space into an area which can be used for exercise, sports and picnics.” Kerr added, “The committee had a dream and Smith helped lead the efforts.”

From the new Big Bend Y, the Volunteer of the Year is Robert Lindsey. He was chair of the Volunteer Board and helped to get it off the ground and make it fully functioning. Kerr said, “Lindsey was a true leader. The board raised and awarded $13,000 in scholarships.” The Big Bend Y opened in 2015 and offers youth soccer, basketball and summer camp. The Volunteer of the Year from Tampa YMCA’s Camp Cristina is Larry Eaton.

According to Mark Battig, the Executive Director for Camp Cristina, “Larry puts the camp and its needs at the forefront of all that he does for us. His willingness and ability to serve others is evident in his actions.”

In addition to honoring volunteers who go above and beyond for their neighborhood Y, the Tampa YMCA awarded the Community Impact Award to former Hillsborough County School Board member, Doretha Edgecomb. She was recognized for her dedication and positive impact on Tampa Bay residents.

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