JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – February 24, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast honored volunteer Josh Harrison for his service and contribution to youth development and social responsibility by naming him Volunteer of the Year. Harrison received the award at the 6th Annual Y-Bash held at the Florida Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
As a child, Harrison was involved in an incident in which he nearly drowned. This has encouraged him to become an advocate for water safety education. As the co-chair of the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville, Harrison is committed to creating an after-school water safety program in partnership with the Y to prevent childhood drowning. The program is designed to provide lifesaving swim safety skills to 300 underserved Duval County students in grades K-8.
Harrison, a former member of the Y’s Duval Regional Board, now leads the Brooks Family YMCA’s advisory board. Recently, the Brooks board helped raise more than $50,000 to support the YMCA READS!—a literacy improvement program for children in kindergarten through third grade, at Twin Lakes Academy Elementary. The program was set to close after losing state funding, but the fundraising effort kept it alive.
“Josh is incredibly generous with his time and service to help the Y fulfill its Youth Development priorities,” said YMCA of Florida’s First Coast President and CEO Eric Mann. “His enthusiasm and passion for YMCA programs especially our youth learn to swim program has motivated countless people to join our volunteer force in forging a healthier community.”
YMCA of Florida’s First Coast recognizes its staff, volunteers and community partners annually at the Y-Bash, an event celebrating their community impact through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. At this year’s event, the Y announced its funding priorities for the following year and its goal to raise $1.7 million. This year’s four funding priorities include:
- Active Adults Creating Healthy Families and Communities
- Making Kids of All Ages Safe in the Water
- Academic and Life Achievement for Our Youth
- Helping Teens Become Leaders
Funding these priorities and the dedication of volunteers such as Harrison help the Y build a strong, supportive foundation for the communities it serves. Past recipients of the Volunteer of the Year Award include Stephen M. Buente, John Curtin, Peggy Bryan and Greg Atwater.
For more than 100 years, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast has been providing men, women and children of all ages, and from all walks of life, opportunities to build stronger bonds, live healthy and become more engaged with their communities. Learn more: www.FirstCoastYMCA.org.
JILL WU, Dalton Agency
P 904.398.5222 C 386.383.6061