Manchester, NH PROCON owner Mark Stebbins came full circle from former program participant to the first recipient of the YMCA’s Community Partner of the Year Award. Mark and Sally Stebbins accepted the award before a packed house of staff, supporters, and students. PROCON and the Stebbins Family were recognized for their longstanding support of the YMCA’s Y-START and Y-STAY programs, their annual holiday gift donations, and a $150,000 contribution that spearheaded renovations of the recently opened teen center in downtown.
The event celebrated community partners who support the Y’s mission and help nurture the potential of every child and teen. It was a moving occasion for Mark Stebbins, who grew up attending the Y in Manchester with his brother. He said, “I remember being 8-years-old and my father dropping my brother and me off at the Y for swimming lessons. All the discipline of my early years came about because of all the great people at the Y.” Stebbins not only joined the swim team, but he set records at the New Hampshire State YMCA event championships. “The YMCA is about all of you who, day in and day out, work to help create a better tomorrow for the youth of Manchester. Without your dedication to these students, we would have a different city.”
Over the last six years PROCON has adopted the Y-START and Y-STAY students during the holiday season by providing Christmas presents for them. The gifts range from new sneakers to a box filled with play-dough, or simple gifts such as a new sweatshirt or a warm blanket. Nothing is left to chance, and everything is carefully selected for each child.
The YMCA of Downtown Manchester Center for Youth and Teen Leadership opened its doors to students in September, 2018 – an achievement made possible by PROCON’s generous gift. The 5,000 s/f space provides a safe after-school hub for students ages 11-17 to gather, do homework, watch movies, play games or work at the computer bar.