By Don Lau
The YMCA of the East Bay’s West Contra Costa County held its 95th annual meeting and dinner on June 5 at the Richmond Country Club.The meeting was called to order by Board of Manager’s Chair Steve Barlow, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Mechanics Bank. The Inspiration for the evening was given by Board Member Alex Sample, professor at Los Medanos College and former Hercules city councilman.
Dr.John Tysell,retired from Kaiser Permanente, who serves as the board chair, introduced four new board members: Aaron Winer, Charlotte Dickert, Zach Zeitz, and Darrin Zaragoza.
Darrel “J” Tucker gave the report on the Annual Partners Campaign, which involved 90 volunteers and raised over $250,000 to support programs for youth, adults and families provided by the Y in West County.
Carlos Castro, after school coordinator for Kennedy High Health and Enrichment Center, presented the Youth of the Year Award to Gabriela “Gabby” Avilez, a junior at Kennedy High who next year will be organizing a freshmen girls’ group at the school to help support their transition to high school.
Carol Frank and Judy Christiansen presented the Rita Davis Volunteer Award to Harvey Wittenberg, a retired lawyer who lives in El Cerrito, for his work as a volunteer mentor in the Y’s Building Futures Program.
Don Melin presented the Fred Breen Humanitarian Award, the highest honor presented by the Y, to retiring Richmond Police Captain Darrol D. Davis. Captain Davis was serving as board chair when the Y in 1982 moved out of the Memorial Youth Center and started decentralizing programs in West County.
The West Contra Costa Y provides programs at over 40 locations including the recently renamed E.M. Downer Family Y in south Richmond.