YMCA of Greater Brandywine Announces 2021 Award Recipients 

2021 Awards sitting on a table

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) has announced the recipients of its three highest awards: the Service to Youth Award, the Community Partner Award and the Distinguished Service Award. 

All three recipients have supported and advanced YGBW’s core pillars of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. 

“As our organization grappled with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, these three award recipients continued to go above and in support of our community,” said Denise Day, president and CEO of YGBW. “We are incredibly fortunate to have community partners and volunteers that care about our cause as much as we do.”  

Service to Youth Award 

The Service to Youth Award recognizes individuals and organizations whose dedication and effort have made a significant and positive difference in the lives of children in our community. 

The Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown (FLITE), a non-profit, volunteer run, educational foundation that serves preschool through high-school students in Tredyffrin and Easttown townships is the 2021 recipient of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s Service to Youth Award.  

Since FLITE was formed in 2006, they have aided students facing financial or environmental barriers nearly 7,000 times through the funding of programs such as preschool tuition assistance, afterschool homework help, musical instrument rentals, summer learning opportunities and the purchasing of school supplies.  

During the pandemic, FLITE and the YMCA of Greater Brandywine partnered to offer the COVID Academic Support Program. Through this partnership, children were able to come to the Upper Main Line YMCA each day and attend Learning Centers where they received support and supervision with virtual schooling while their parents were able to go to work. 

 “The pandemic was a difficult and trying time financially for a lot of the families we serve in our community,” said Brian Raicich, executive director of the Upper Main Line YMCA. “Partnering with FLITE provided additional financial assistance which, combined with what the YMCA provided, expanded our resources and allowed us to serve a greater number of families in need. In some cases, 100% of Learning Center tuition was covered through a combination of FLITE and YMCA financial assistance.”  


Community Partner Award 

The Community Partner Award recognizes an organization or group that has demonstrated a commitment to the YMCA’s mission and values and has partnered with or supported the Y in outreach initiatives that strengthen the foundations of the community.  

Pancoast & Clifford, a leading general contracting and construction management company, is the 2021 recipient of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s Community Partner Award.  

Since 2001, Pancoast & Clifford has embraced the Y’s cause of building a healthy community in Chester County, as evidenced by their targeted support of so many programs including: The 7th Grade Initiative, Believe & Achieve, and STRIDE for ALL (formerly Girls on the Run); and their support of capital campaigns at the Upper Main Line and West Chester Y's as well as the recent support for the creation of the Donna Watters Gymnastics Training Center. 

On top of being generous with their resources, Frank Pancoast and Chris Clifford, the principals at Pancoast & Clifford, are also generous with their time. Frank currently serves on the YMCA of Greater Brandywine Property Committee where he says he “advises and offers suggestions to aid the Y’s facility improvements and repairs.”  


Distinguished Service Award 

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes the effort and achievement of the YMCA’s most special friends and emphasizes the need for community service by all citizens. Recipients of this award have set a standard of leadership that others follow. 

Jim Horn, president and CEO of the Tri – M Group, is the 2021 recipient of the YMCA Distinguished Service Award. He recently completed a two-year term as the Chair of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s Board of Directors, where he played an integral role in steering the association through the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Jim began his involvement with the YMCA over 18 years ago and was initially drawn to volunteer with the Y because “The Y included people from all age groups and all walks of life.” 

As he became more passionate about the mission Jim grew his involvement to include hosting board and donor events at his home, chairing the annual campaign, volunteering at events and generously contributing to the annual campaign, capital campaigns and special projects.  

Day says, “Jim is a trifecta volunteer – generous with his time, talent and treasures.”   

In addition to the three named awards, the YMCA recognized the following volunteers as the Volunteer of the Year for their respective branches; Dan Chidester, Tom Eason, Kevin Krieger, Randy Schauer, Paul Kabakjian, Amy Fisher, Dr. Joe Hyduke and Malvern Veterinary Hospital and Marian Derr. 


The awards were presented on Thursday, April 21 at YGBW’s annual Breakfast of Champions event held at the Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, PA.  


If you want more information on how you can get involved as a volunteer at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine visit  ymcagbw.org/volunteer




Category: Press