YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Volunteer Reinhart Weber one of 12 outstanding Canadians appointed to the YMCA Fellowship of Honour | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
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YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Volunteer Reinhart Weber one of 12 outstanding Canadians appointed to the YMCA Fellowship of Honour

 

Canada’s Governor General David Johnston recognizes
Reinhart Weber at the 2017 Investiture Ceremony

 

Barrie, Ontario – June 8, 2017 – YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka volunteer, Reinhart Weber, has dedicated over 50 years of his life to expanding the reach of the YMCA in our community. Weber’s commitment and contributions were officially celebrated on June 8, 2017 when he received the YMCA Fellowship of Honour medal from its Patron, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, in a ceremony held at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Canada.

 “We are very proud of and grateful to Reinhart Weber,” says YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka CEO, Rob Armstrong. “His vision, passion and years of dedication to helping youth in our community has played a large part in the success of our youth leadership programs. The ripple effects of his impact have made a significant contribution to the development of a stronger and healthier community. Reinhart’s personal investment of time, energy and talent in serving our youth has created a legacy that will be felt for generations of young people to come.”

Born in Essling, Germany in 1931, Weber attributes his formative experiences with the YMCA Youth Leadership group in Essling to the transformative youth program he developed years later in Simcoe/Muskoka.

Emigrating to Canada in 1954, Weber built a life, family and thriving manufacturing business in Midland, Ontario. When Weber reconnected with the YMCA in the mid-1970s, the Association in Midland was in desperate need of facility upgrades. He quickly jumped in to help, becoming an important part of fundraising for a new pool and later, a new building.

Over the years Weber has shared his personal success by giving back to his community as a generous donor, a thoughtful leader, and an inspiring visionary. He has been honoured with awards for his contributions to Ontario’s economic growth and his years of community support. In 2012 Weber received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

But perhaps Weber’s greatest contribution has been to the youth of his community. In the early 1990s he began to focus his energy on the YMCA’s role in youth leadership development. He wanted to create a program for young people that would teach them about leadership in a structured but experiential way, also providing them with an opportunity to travel. He supplied the vision and the seed funding for the first Youth Leadership Development program for the YMCA of Midland. By 1997 the program had expanded to include four levels for youth aged 10 to 16, and had grown from an initial 14 to more than 100 participants. When the YMCAs in Simcoe County merged to become the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, Weber seized the opportunity for growth, and the program soon provided opportunities for more than 250 youth from across the region. In 2011, those young leaders were given a seat at the table of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s board of directors in the form of a youth advisory council, which was consulted on the Association’s new strategic plan.

The YMCA Fellowship of Honour has recognized the distinguished and exceptional service of volunteers and staff since its inception in 1978. The induction of YMCA leaders takes place every three to four years, under the patronage of the Governor General of Canada. More than 120 exemplary Canadians have been honoured in one of two categories: A Companion award recognizes outstanding national and international leadership, and an Officer award acknowledges local or regional leadership contributions. Reinhart Weber joins the Fellowship as an Officer.

Collectively, these committed Canadians have provided distinguished service to the YMCA in communities across Canada. Said Peter Dinsdale, YMCA Canada’s President and CEO, “We owe these individuals a debt of gratitude for the personal investment they have made to help ensure a sense of belonging—not only for those in their local communities but also for their fellow citizens across the country and around the world. They represent the best of what it means to be Canadian.”

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