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2024 City Builders: Celebrating our donors, and a gift announcement

06 June 2024 - by YMCA of Greater Toronto

On June 5, 2024, the YMCA of Greater Toronto hosted the fifth edition of its YMCA City Builders event with an exciting twist, as this year’s celebration also came with a gift announcement.

And not just any gift announcement! Made by The Barrett Family Foundation, the $10 million gift over five years became the largest to date in the history of our YMCA. 

It was a special evening, ably helmed again by Master of Ceremonies Andrew Phung, and it took place at Central YMCA. 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 our donors.

YMCA City Builders 2024's Master of Ceremonies, Andrew Phung

YMCA City Builders Francine and Bob Barrett

The gift from The Barrett Family Foundation made them an automatic YMCA City Builder, and will go to support five high-impact YMCA youth programs, including the Black Achievers Mentorship Program, Youth for Entrepreneurship, and our programs for newcomer and refugee youth.  

“We are both delighted to be able to support the YMCA of Greater Toronto through The Barrett Family Foundation,” said Bob Barrett and Francine Rouleau-Barrett, accepting the City Builders induction on behalf of The Barrett Family Foundation. “The initiatives we are supporting will engage young people, develop their skills and inspire them to become role models in their own communities.” Read more about the Barrett gift announcement.

The event’s youth panel discussion, thoughtfully guided by interviewer Andrew Phung, was once again a City Builders highlight. Guests were moved and delighted by the reflections and insights of our panelists.

Portrait of Ingrid, standing in front of an art mural.

Ingrid, a former participant in the YMCA Basic Culinary Skills Training Program, spoke about her successful career in the restaurant industry and how finding the culinary program has made a difference in her life.

Portrait of Kelvin.

Kelvin shared the story of his journey to Canada as a refugee, and the safe, supportive experience he had at the Wagner Green YMCA, which has helped him build a promising new life for himself. 

A portrait of Justice.

Justice spoke of his experience coming to Canada with his family as newcomers during the pandemic, and how a Y newcomer youth group and internship helped break his isolation and experience growth.

The event also celebrated all of our YMCA City Builders to date:

YMCA City Builders, as of June 5, 2024:

The Barrett Family Foundation

The David Braley Charitable Foundation

BMO Financial Group

CIBC Foundation

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 & Sally Stavro Family Foundation

TD Bank Group

Anonymous Donor

Thank you to all who attended, and to all our City Builders and donors for their incredible spirit of giving. Together, you are making possible a more vibrant, equitable Greater Toronto Area where people can grow, lead, and give back to their communities.

More photos from the evening:


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