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East Point leader named YMCA Volunteer of the Year
by Nneka Okona
November 19, 2012 02:50 PM | 1534 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston <br>
Tri-Cities High School student Ronald Benton was named as  one of the Metro Atlanta YMCA volunteers of the year.
Staff / Joe Livingston
Tri-Cities High School student Ronald Benton was named as one of the Metro Atlanta YMCA volunteers of the year.
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Ronald Benton, Jr. was recently honored as one of the Metropolitan Atlanta YMCA’s volunteers of the year for his continued service at the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA.

His initial reaction to hearing he had won the award was that of shock.

“When I found out I had won this award, I was very happy but at the same time I didn’t know the YMCA had this kind of award,” he said

The Tri-Cities student has dedicated himself to volunteering at the Y since he was four years old.

His motivation to begin and to continue all these years was simple — enthusiasm.

“I started volunteering at the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA because, in a way, I had already been volunteering before,” he said. “It has really been a joy for me.”

Benton’s volunteer tasks depend on what the particular needs are that day at the Y, but his tasks are never the same.

“At the Y, I am involved in many things from working in the pre-school classes and helping at the front desk,” he said. “My favorite activities at the Y are swimming, playing basketball and working with the pre-school classes.”

His joy for volunteering and his subsequent receipt of the award come as no surprise to Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA’s executive director Diane Baker-King.

“Every day after school, Ronald comes to do whatever is needed with the most cheerful and positive disposition,” she said in a statement. “He is extremely responsible and continuously looks for ways to make a difference at the Y. Ronald’s attitude uplifts everyone.”

Exuding that disposition to everyone he encounters at the Y is natural, Benton said, because he finds the environment to be welcoming — almost like a second home.

“The Y is special because it changes the lives of so many people,” he said.

There were a total of 21 volunteers named from all the Metropolitan YMCA Atlanta branches.

Honorees attended a recognition dinner on Nov. 12.

Benton is currently a junior at Tri-Cities High School, where he plays the French horn in the marching and concert bands.

He is the son of Tia and Ronald Sr. of East Point.
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