Delivering the keynote address wasn’t the only honor Dr. John C. Bowling
, Olivet’s president, received during the recent annual meeting of the Kankakee Area YMCA
. Later in the evening, he received the Ray Lindner Service to Youth award from Wes Walker, who was executive director of this YMCA from 1970 to 1994.
Dr. Bowling has served as Olivet’s president since 1991, and University enrollment has grown to 4,600. “That’s a lot of youth,” Walker said as he presented the award.
Along with Dr. Bowling’s many achievements as University president, he has served the local community in countless ways, including as vice chairman of the Riverside Health System Board. He has also been a board member for the United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties and the Kankakee Valley Chamber of Commerce. His previous community awards include Samaritan of the Year and the Community Alliance Beacon Award.
In his address to an audience of 100-plus at the Kankakee Country Club, Dr. Bowling said: “Our community has been strengthened by the work of The Y. Across the years, organizations have come and gone — but The Y has come and stayed. The Y is accessible, affordable and accountable. That’s a winning combination. I congratulate you on another year of outstanding service. As a member of this community, I thank you not only for what you do, but perhaps more importantly, for who you are. You are the 'why' of The Y.”
Founded in 1894, the Kankakee Area YMCA is celebrating 120 years of serving the community. The current location at 1075 N. Kennedy Dr., Kankakee, is the fourth location. The Y’s daily programming meets the challenge of enhancing the quality of life for all persons within Kankakee County. In 2011, a member satisfaction survey ranked this Y in the top 10% across the country. The facility includes a gym, Kids’ Fit Zone, swimming pool, a preschool, a wellness center, an indoor track, an aerobics studio, a cycling room and more. The Y continues the commitment to help shape character and self-esteem while continuing to meet human needs and develop potential.