The Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA held its 69th annual Board Installation and Volunteer Recognition Dinner at the Memorial Golf Course here Jan. 18.
Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, base commanding general of Camp Pendleton and regional authority of five Marine Corps bases in the Southwestern United States, was a keynote speaker at the event where he expressed appreciation for the ASYMCA’s contributions and support of the service members on Camp Pendleton.
“My wife Mary and I are overwhelmed with the generosity of the communities here and we’re blown away by the amount of people who are willing to dig deep into their pockets to help. There are few organizations that affect the families of Marines and sailors more directly, at the grass root, than the Armed Services YMCA,” said Coglianese, as the sound of applause roared through Eagle’s Landing Banquet Room.
Although deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq are significantly lower now, the Marines and sailors have been through a lot over the past 12 years, said Coglianese. “Organizations like the ASYMCA are absolutely critical in supporting families’ needs.”
ASYMCA is a source of support for many service members who choose to end their military careers.
“300 Marines leave our gates each week, and thanks to organizations like the ASYMCA, they are more prepared and are equipped with a safety net. This is a great organization and you are a great people,” Coglianese said while shifting his glance to a table filled with ASYMCA volunteers. “The volunteer spirit of this organization and what you do in all of its programs, from the School of Infantry events to the after school programs, are all greatly appreciated.”
“We’re looking forward to next year because there are going to be some changes to our programs and a bit of expansion,” said George Brown, the executive director of the ASYMCA. here “The board is interested in moving towards having more of our programs, such as the pre-school and after school programs, reaching more military families in the communities of Oceanside, Orange County and eventually Riverside. That’s what we’re striving for.”
Awards were presented to ASYMCA members and organizations in appreciation for their outstanding work as volunteers with the program in the following categories:
2012 Program Volunteer of the Year – Toyota Carlsbad, Lexus Carlsbad, and Lexus Escondido
2012 Event Volunteer of the Year – America’s Finest Carpet Company
2012 Civilian Volunteer of the Year – Richard Fleming, a member of the ASYMCA board of management
2012 Military Volunteer of the year – Gunnery Sgt. Andy Darnell Jr., from 2nd Battalion 5th Marines who has served over 100 hours with the ASYMCA
2012 Employee of the Year – Suzanne Tabrum, the events director of the ASYMCA here