2015 Community Service Award Finalist
YMCA of Greater Boston/West Roxbury YMCA
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
A strong, well-respected community leader and life-long resident of Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood, Frederick J. Gillis III was recruited to lead the effort to rebuild the community’s local YMCA in order to expand and enhance its programs. He joined the capital campaign committee in 2007 and became its chair in 2010, motivating and assisting volunteers, organizing fundraising events, rallying community support, and playing a key role in garnering city and state funding. He also used his experience working with the LGBT community to help design a facility that is welcoming to all. Renovations, now underway, will enable the YMCA to expand its autism program four-fold, triple the number of group exercise studios for older adults, expand programming for cancer survivors, add a teen center and swimming pool and, for the first time, include air conditioning, sprinklers, security cameras and an elevator. The community will also gain a public gathering pavilion for tree-lighting ceremonies, farmers markets and community events – an innovative model designed by Gillis and for which he was instrumental in securing grant funding. The nearby main shopping district in West Roxbury is expected to benefit significantly from the increased foot traffic generated by the state-of-the-art facility. In recognition of his passion, dedication and determination in overcoming numerous set-backs, the West Roxbury YMCA named Gillis its volunteer of the year.