YMCA of Southern Maine

For a Better Us.™

Celebrating Community Building Excellence

YMCA of Southern Maine to Honor Work of Three Nonprofits

Published 10.27.16
CONTACT: Sarah Leighton  sleighton@ymcaofsouthernmaine.org


Portland, ME – The YMCA of Southern Maine will recognize three Southern Maine-based nonprofits for their efforts to improve the lives on Mainers at the Y’s Annual Celebration of Community in Portland on November 2nd. Awards in the YMCA’s focus areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility will be presented to Maine Boys to Men, Shalom House and York County Community Action Corporation, respectively. Steve Rowe, President and CEO of the Maine Community Foundation, will deliver the keynote address. The event, including dinner, will take place at the Holiday In by the Bay at 6pm.


“We firmly believe that lasting personal and social change comes about when people and organizations from diverse backgrounds and perspectives work together,” explained Helen Breña, CEO of the YMCA of Southern Maine. “That’s why it’s so important that we take time to recognize our colleagues in the nonprofit sector and their determined work to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.”


The honorees were chosen based on their unique contribution to building a stronger community through excellence in three key areas – youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.


Maine Boys to Men, a Yarmouth-based nonprofit, was selected for the Y’s Youth Development award for their work to reduce gender-based violence and support the development of emotionally fluent, civically-engaged boys. “We know that every boy has the potential to grow into an emotionally healthy man and that doing so has positive outcomes for everyone – men, women, boys and girls,” said Matt Theodores, Executive Director at Maine Boys to Men. “It’s wonderful to have our work acknowledged by the YMCA given their strong history of leadership in youth development and helping young people reach their potential!”


Shalom House, a Portland-based agency offering community-based mental health services and affordable housing, will receive the Y’s Healthy Living award. “We chose Shalom House for their incredible work with individuals living with serious mental illness. Their programs help often isolated people reconnect with community, improve health and define well-being in a way that is personally meaningful and empowering,” explained Breña.


“Assisting our clients in living their best life in the community they choose, in a manner they choose is at the very core of Shalom’s mission.  We try to help our clients embrace their own lives, and live a healthy life, on all levels,” said Mary Haynes-Rodgers, Executive Director of Shalom House. “To be recognized for the work is an honor and we thank the YMCA for this recognition.”