Pay it Forward: ‘Y’ honors founder at annual breakfast

YMCA Inspiration Breakfast committee members: Jennifer Siesel, Alberto Echevarria, Chris Echevarria, Mary Workman, Megan Keenan, Gloria Hosh, Kery Knutson, Carl Foster, Alex Farnsworth, Teresa Harrington, Jon Kaye, Trina Chin Cheong, Pam Roulan and Linda Spielmann. Photo provided

By Amy Woods
The man who put the first shovel in the ground at 6631 Palmetto Circle South in Boca Raton will receive special honors during this month’s YMCA Inspiration Breakfast.
   Peter Blum, whose name is both eponymous and synonymous with the nonprofit, family-oriented fitness facility, said the 42-year-old YMCA has more than surpassed its goals.
    “It’s mind-boggling how beautiful and great it is,” Blum said. “It has a tremendous membership.”
    The former Manalapan mayor, now Delray Beach resident whose name also graces the DeVos-Blum Family YMCA of Boynton Beach said he is humbled by the recognition.
    “I feel that you get these honors if you live long enough and work hard,” Blum said. “I still love the YMCA and all the people at the Y — and the leaders.”
    The breakfast will take place April 8 with a new name — it used to be called the YMCA Prayer Breakfast — and a new theme, “A Celebration of the Spirit and Mission of the Y.”
    “Twelve years ago … it was basically a gathering to shine a light on the YMCA’s mission as a Christian organization,” said YMCA of South Palm Beach County President and CEO Richard Pollock. “As it’s evolved, it has become more inspirational each time. It’s not necessarily about prayer. It’s about mission and motivation.”
    The YMCA of South Palm Beach County serves 20,000 members and 40,000 residents annually with a focus on personal wellness and youth development. It is open even to those who can’t afford to pay for programs.
    Funds raised at the breakfast, the organization’s largest event, will support the YMCA’s financial-assistance efforts.
    “When there are children in need and families in need, then we’re able to help,” event co-chairwoman Gloria Hosh said. “Palm Beach County does have poverty.”
    The keynote speaker this year: former Miami Dolphins player and current Offerdahl’s Café Grill owner John Offerdahl.
Past speakers have included Robert and Pamela Tebow, Tim Tebow’s parents; Wally Amos, of the Famous Amos brand; and former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden.
    “His vision is where the YMCA is today,” Hosh said of Offerdahl. “He’s got all the right attributes to be our speaker. What a great, down-to-earth, humble man.” 


What: YMCA Inspiration Breakfast
When: 8 to 10 a.m. April 8
Where: Boca Raton Resort & Club
Cost: $80
Information: Call 237-0944 or visit

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