During the 125th anniversary year of the McGaw YMCA, I had an opportunity to get to know Bill Geiger and the McGaw YMCA in 2010. I was impressed with the breadth of programs offered to children, families, and adults of all ages. I was particularly pleased by the efforts to build positive lives for youth through mentoring, athletics and leadership programs as well as the focus on healthy living and social responsibility. Bill has made improving the lives and future ofEvanston youth a top priority with an emphasis on assuring access and equity for all.
I also applauded his efforts to reach out to former members of the Emerson Street Branch YMCA. Many of these men and woman had never been in the Grove Street YMCA and had very mixed feelings about it. Bill demonstrated the courage and empathy to acknowledge the deep sense of loss felt by so many for so many years. The documentary Unforgettable acknowledged this difficult history while honoring and celebrating the impact and legacy of the Emerson Street YMCA at a special celebration which did much to open communication throughout the community.
I believe that Bill will foster the same types of innovations and relationship-building throughout the community at District 202. He loves and believes inEvanston.