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2023 YMCA City Builders — Celebrating the spirit of giving

09 May 2023 - by YMCA of Greater Toronto

On April 27, 2023, the YMCA of Greater Toronto hosted its fourth edition of the YMCA City Builders Celebration at the Aga Khan Museum with Andrew Phung (Canadian Screen Award winner for his role on Kim’s Convenience and one of Canada’s top comedic performers) presiding as master of ceremonies.

It was a wonderful evening of connection, which felt even more special as it was the first in-person City Builders event since the pandemic began. The event recognizes and pays tribute to YMCA City Builders — philanthropic leaders who have generously given $1 million or more to date to the YMCA of Greater Toronto — and celebrates the spirit of giving in all of our donors.

Two new YMCA donors were inducted into our esteemed group of YMCA City Builders that night. Congratulations to Desjardins Financial Group and The David Braley Charitable Foundation!

The YMCA of Greater Toronto also announced its first honourary YMCA City Builder this year — a dynamic duo who together have contributed nearly 50 years of “sweat equity” to our charity. Congratulations to Ann & Medhat Mahdy!

Ann and Medhat Mahdy

And, as usual, we celebrated our esteemed list of YMCA City Builders to date:

The David Braley Charitable Foundation

BMO Financial Group


Clark Family Foundation

The Counselling Foundation of Canada

Desjardins Financial Group

Goldie Feldman, Daphne Wagner, David Green, and Lita & Michael Green

Martine M. Irman

Jays Care Foundation

Krystal Koo & Michael J. Cooper

Lorraine & Donald Lawson

Ann & Medhat Mahdy (honourary)

Jenifer & Steve McDonald

The PepsiCo Canada Foundation

Steve and Sally Stavro Family Foundation

TD Bank Group

Anonymous Donors

Andrew Phung, ever dapper in his sneaks, welcomed everyone warmly, and kept guests laughing throughout the evening. He also shared kind reflections about the Y (where he is both a health and fitness member and a donor).

Andrew did a wonderful job as interviewer for our powerful youth panel discussion on the topic of “Telling Your Own Story.” Many in the audience were visibly moved as our three panelists shared their stories and insights with our guests:

Nada, a former YMCA Newcomer Youth Leadership Development (NYLD) group participant (and current Y staff member), spoke about coming to Canada after escaping the war in Syria with her family, and what the NYLD program meant to her when she started opening up in the group.

Daniel, a Toronto Metropolitan University first-year nursing student and 2021–2022 YMCA Black Achievers Mentorship program participant, shared how the Black Achievers program helped him to set life goals and provided him an important opportunity to learn from and be inspired by “people who look like me.”

Sahana, a Grade 12 student and Youth Leadership Development (YLD) participant spoke about how YLD had been both a safe space for her and one that constantly pushed her out of her comfort zone, “showing me what a big world is out there and making me who I am today.”

Thank you again to all who attended, and to all of our City Builders and donors for your inspiring generosity in support of vibrant GTA communities where everyone can shine!

Here are some more photos from the evening:


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