Heritage Club Honored For Impact

A historic home in Joliet’s Cathedral Neighborhood provided a picturesque setting for the Greater Joliet Area YMCA’s annual Heritage Club Dinner.  Mrs. Marie-Pierre Baltz, widow of the late Joe Baltz, opened the beautiful family home for a seated dinner where nearly 60 YMCA supporters gathered to celebrate the impact of long-term giving to the YMCA.

Guests included contributors to the YMCA’s endowment who have either established a named endowment fund or supported the general fund. Heritage Club membership is granted to those who have included a gift for the YMCA in their will or estate plan, such as naming the Y as beneficiary of a trust or insurance policy.

A Legacy of Giving

Dr. David Morimoto, son of Mrs. Ruth and the late Paul Morimoto, was a featured speaker. David gave a moving tribute to his parents, citing his earliest memories at the YMCA and his father’s many years as a leader in the organization. Several of his parents’ lifelong friends were among the audience for the moving remarks.

In 2017, the Morimoto family established the Dr. Paul and Mrs. Ruth Morimoto Endowed Fund with a generous gift of $100,000 to the YMCA. The earnings from the fund provide annual support for families and children in Joliet through scholarship assistance.

Building Strong Families

Kathleen Elsen, along with her nine-year old son Patrick and mother Patricia, were special guests at the dinner. As a member of the Morris YMCA, Kathleen spoke of the gaps the Y had filled in her family’s life. Patrick is a beloved summer camper, plays youth basketball, attends special events and is a regular in the Kids Corner. His participation has been made possible through the support of scholarships provided by donations to the YMCA.

As a single mother who is both working and putting herself through college, Kathleen shared her gratitude for YMCA staff, who have become ”like family”, as well as for the donors in the room. Patrick called the Y a “miracle” in his life.

New Members Inducted

Four new members were honored for their contributions of the past year. Among them was former JETS Swim Team parent and current board member Barb Zeigner. Barb was joined by her daughter Kristin in announcing the new Raymond F. & Barbara L. Ziegner Endowment Fund, which will provide scholarships and cover travel fees for swimming.

Susan Lee, Chairperson of the Endowment Development Committee, presented new members with a pin. Committee members Sandy Cowgill, Don DeGues, Paul Gantzert, Donna Zanzola, Jim Watts and Julie Wilkinson helped plan the evening.

An Invitation for Impact

To learn more about Heritage Club membership or to share existing plans to support the Y through your estate, please contact Senior Development Director Julie Wilkinson at (815) 782-0825 or [email protected]


Celebrate Making an Impact on National Nonprofit Day

On Friday, August 17 celebrate National Nonprofit Day with the Y!  At the Y, strengthening the community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. The Y is a nonprofit committed to strengthening community through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. In fact, there is no other nonprofit quite like the Y because of its presence and partnerships in 10,000 neighborhoods across the nation.

Since 1928, the Y has brought families closer together, encouraged good health and fostered connections through fitness, sports fun and shared interests. As one of the area’s leading nonprofits, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA doesn’t turn any person or family away due to their inability to pay. To do this important work, we rely on the support of our members, donors, volunteers and community leaders. It’s with this support, the Y is able to engage nine million youth and 13 million adults across the U.S.


When you become involved with the Y, you help bring about lasting social and personal change. Your ability to give back or support the Y can come in many forms, whether it is nurturing the potential of children and teens, improving your family’s health or helping support your neighbors. The positive impact is felt when the community comes together for the common good.  As a Y member, you can be a part of something bigger. When you give to the Y, you help move people forward.

Make a difference. Consider making a charitable contribution to the Greater Joliet Area YMCA today.

A Giver Who Keeps On Giving

IMG_6977Mynne Schmidt, who is simply known as Sis around the Y, is a sweet woman with a big heart and an even bigger passion for swimming.

“I’ve been a swimmer for most of my life,” Sis said. “I learned to swim at five-years-old in the DuPage River. It put me onto a lifetime of swimming.”

For more than a decade, Sis has been a generous donor at the YMCA, where she’s had a membership since 1998. Each year, she donates at least $1,000 to benefit those who need membership and program scholarships. Recently, Sis decided to add to her legacy by giving an endowment of $10,000.

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