2019 Philanthropy Award Honoree

2019 Philanthropy Award Honoree

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By Richard Foot

The Y is a powerful association of men, women, and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility.  At the Y, we believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors.  That’s why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause.

At the Y’s annual Foundation Dinner in March our YMCA recognized and celebrated the charitable contributions of Frederick resident Matthew C. McGreevy, a man whose philanthropy – from the Greek:  “Love of humankind” – enhances our understanding of what we do at the Y and why it matters.

American author and clergyman Edward Everett Hale captured the “power of one”, when he asserted:  “I am only one; but still I am one.  I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

For seven years, Matt McGreevy has shared his love of reading with students at Lincoln Elementary School, weekly pressing the shut-down button on his investment screen at Morgan Stanley to read with students at this federal Title I School, named for our nation’s 16th President.  Whether it was Matt’s engaging smile, fun-loving laugh, or just the fact that he consistently appeared at the appointed hour every week, Matt has made a difference in the lives of children at Lincoln Elementary.

It was President Abraham Lincoln, who said: “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”

Did you know that Matt has played a pivotal role in preventing Alzheimer’s, stimulating dendrites in the brains, and improving problem-solving skills among Lincoln Elementary students?  For many years Matt has organized the chess club at Lincoln, and through this one-on-one After-School Program he has given students the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve, all the while cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health, and educational achievement.

Booker T. Washington observed:  “the most useful and influential people in America are those who take the deepest interest in institutions that exist for the purpose of making the world better.”

Matt McGreevy has been a Y-guy for over four decades, beginning as a youth on the Y Swim Team.  Matt has served two terms on the governing board of our Y, one of which as Vice President.  He has chaired our Y’s Financial Development Committee, chaired the Y’s Annual Support Campaign, has been a stalwart annual and capital campaign volunteer for over twenty years, and is a YMCA Heritage Club Member.  Matt is currently on the Alvin G. Quinn YMCA Sports Hall of Fame Committee.

The quality of life in our community is enhanced by Matt’s volunteer leadership and service over the years on the Scholarship Committee of the Community Foundation of Frederick County, the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, Goodwill of Monocacy Valley, and the City of Frederick Parks Commission.  Matt currently is a Trustee of Hood College, serving on the college’s Investment Committee.  AND, Matt coaches Cloverhill youth basketball and Little League baseball.

While our nation has been awed by the philanthropy of people like Andrew Carnegie, Warren Buffet, George Soros, and Bill and Melinda Gates, each of those philanthropists would agree with American philosopher William James.  “The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

The American tradition of philanthropy has made America the country it is.  Philanthropy has been a fire hot enough to forge a country like America, and it remains a passion powerful enough to bind it together today.

Should you or a loved one be interested in learning more about planned giving options at the YMCA of Frederick County, please contact Tom Clingman at (301) 663-5131 or tclingman@frederickymca.org.