Stedman Graham guest speaker at YMCA Community Dinner March 19

Staff Report

The YMCA of Rock River Valley will hold its third annual YMCA Community Dinner March 19. This year’s dinner will focus on social responsibility and welcome Stedman Graham as guest speaker.

Graham may be best known to some as Oprah Winfrey’s long-time partner. However, he is a two-time New York Times bestselling author, American educator and businessman.

Based in Chicago, Graham is chairman and CEO of S. Graham & Associates, a management and marketing consulting firm.

Mike Brown, YMCA of Rock River Valley CEO, said: “Volunteerism is a large part of the Y. We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers. This year’s dinner will focus on the momentum that can be generated from something as simple as an hour of your day. Our goal is to inspire and empower individuals and promote a positive change in Rockford.”

Michele Petrie, Business Banking Rockford team lead, BMO Harris Bank and Strong Kids Foundation volunteer co-chairman for the YMCA, added: “The YMCA’s strong values and focus on health and advancement is the foundation of what strengthens our communities. BMO Harris Bank continues to support the YMCA’s Community Dinner, as it helps to fund programs that further enhances the quality of life in our community.”

The dinner will be at Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, and will begin at 5:30 p.m.

In addition to the guest presentation, several locals will be honored with awards presented by the YMCA of Rock River Valley. Among them, the Teen Leadership Award will be given to a teen, 15-19, who exemplifies leadership within the Rockford community. The YMCA Distinguished Leader of the Year and Outstanding Business Impact Award nominations are also open for nomination. Nomination forms can be found by visiting the Y’s Community Dinner website at, and final submissions are due by Feb. 20.

To register for the dinner, stop by one of the local YMCA branch locations, call (779) 500-0800 or visit Cost is $100 per plate. All proceeds from the dinner will support the Y’s Annual Campaign.

The Y serves 35,000 people through six area branches and is one of the largest nonprofit employers in the greater Rockford area, with more than 600 full- and part-time staff.

From the Feb. 4-10, 2015, issue

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