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2023 Founder's Award

The YMCA of Greater Cleveland presented The Sherwin-Williams Company with its first Founder’s Award in recognition of its more than 150 years of support. This award is given to individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the YMCA.

In recognition of The Sherwin-Williams Company’s long support, the YMCA of Greater Cleveland presented the company with the 2023 Founder’s Award. Also acknowledged were volunteers from each of the Y’s 11 branches and its Y-Haven facility, see the list of recipients on the side bar.

 

Founder's Day 2023

 

Community Impact Award

There is no other organization quite like the Y. That's because in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the nation, we have the presence and partnerships to not just promise, but also deliver, lasting personal and social change. Volunteers are the heart of our organization. Their contributions enrich lives and make it possible to offer programs and services that otherwise would not exist.

 

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Celebrating our shared history

The Y created Founder’s Day to acknowledge the founding of the YMCA in 1844 in London, followed by its establishment in Cleveland in 1854. Celebrated on June 1 at the Tucker Ellis office in the Ernst & Young Tower, the event recognized a company and more than a dozen volunteers who have contributed to the Y’s mission of providing comprehensive programs and services that enrich communities — and all of the people who live in them. 

The Sherwin-Williams Company and the YMCA of Greater Cleveland have a long and storied history of partnership. The two organizations were founded just a few years apart, with The Sherwin-Williams Company established in 1866 and the YMCA of Greater Cleveland founded in 1854.

Henry A. Sherwin, the founder of The Sherwin-Williams Company, was a passionate supporter of the YMCA from its earliest days. He served as an adviser and president of the organization and helped raise funds to build the first YMCA building in Cleveland.

Sereno Peck Fenn, who Sherwin hired as a cashier-bookkeeper in 1870, also strongly supported the YMCA. He served as a director of the organization from 1868 to 1920 and its president for 25 years. The Sherwin-Williams Company and the YMCA of Greater Cleveland have continued to partner over the years. Sherwin-Williams has provided financial and in-kind support for the YMCA’s programs and operations, and its employees have volunteered their time to help with various projects. The Y has dedicated a seat on our board to Henry Sherwin, which continues to be filled by a Sherwin-Williams Company executive.

 

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S.P. Fenn Heritage Society

Sereno Peck Fenn served as the President of the Cleveland YMCA from 1892 to 1917. He met Henry Sherwin on a train and struck up a conversation. Sherwin offered him a job, first as a bookkeeper, Fenn later became Secretary/Treasurer, and ultimately VP of Sherwin Williams Company. Upon Fenn’s death, he left a $100,000 bequest to the YMCA’s educational programs, which continues to help the Cleveland YMCA today.


The S.P. Fenn Heritage Society honors those individuals and families who either include the YMCA of Greater Cleveland in their estate plans, or contribute to the Endowment Fund. Members of the Society are recognized and invited to opportunities annually that demonstrate the impact of the Endowment’s transformational work. Since its founding in 1854, the YMCA of Greater Cleveland has been responding to changing community needs. The Endowment Fund ensures that the Y remains relevant and accessible to all for decades into the future.

 

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