April 14, 2022 – The Mankato Family YMCA Brother/Sister Mentoring Program has announced the recipients of the annual Guiding Light Award, honoring the volunteerism of community member mentors and program partners.  

This year’s awards will be presented to: 

  • Michael Brenna, Brother/Sister Community Based Mentor of the Year 2022 
  • Tom Koch, School-Based Mentor of the Year 2022 
  • Leroy Vetsch, Pen-Pal Mentor of the Year 2022 
  • Radio Mankato, Community Mentor Program of the Year 2022 

“The Guiding Light Award celebrates the accomplishments of our mentors & community partners,  and the contributions that their dedicated service represents. Through their volunteer service,  these individuals and partners have ensured the continuation of the YMCA’s commitment to  improving the lives of others. Their commitment has strengthened the bonds of cooperation and  trust that brings people together, while helping to address some of the greatest challenges of  youth in our community,” said Tom Schueneman, Director of Social Responsibility for the Mankato  Family YMCA. “On behalf of the youth in our community, it is my honor to congratulate the  recipients for their important work.” 

Established in 2016, the Guiding Light Award is given annually to individual mentors who represent  and model what an exemplary mentor can be. It is also given to a community partner who willingly  supports and advances the Brother/Sister Mentoring Program’s mission. The collective impact of  mentoring work in the community is valued and the Guiding Light Award recognizes those who are  passionate in their work with and for youth.  

Awards will be presented April 21, 2022 at 7pm during a presentation at the Mentor Appreciation  Dinner held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Matthew’s Hall at 632 South Broad St.,  Mankato, MN. Major sponsors of the 2022 Mentor Appreciation Dinner and Guiding Light Award  presentation include FUN.com, Exclusively Diamond with additional support provided by Greater

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Mankato United Way and Otto Bremer Trust. For more details about attending the dinner, call 507- 345-9815. 

Last year’s 2021 recipients include: 

  • Maxwell Mayleben, Brother/Sister Community Based Mentor of the Year 2021 Tonya Hobbie, School-Based Based Mentor of the Year 2021 
  • Scott Nelson & MSU,M- SACC, Community Mentor Program Partner of the Year 2021 

About the Brother/Sister Mentoring Program  

The mentoring program matches area youth (ages 6-18) with adult volunteer mentors who commit  to a relationship of 2-3 hours a week for 9 months. The goal is to provide a quality mentoring  experience for both the mentor and mentee. The primary purpose is to build a positive relationship  that encourages and supports a positive exchange. The program recruits, screens & trains volunteer mentored and then provides ongoing support of the relationship match. In addition, the  group-mentoring program fills a gap for youth who are on the wait list to engage in positive  activities until matched. More information is available online at www.mankatoymca.org or by  calling 507-345-9815 

About the Mankato Family YMCA 

The Mission of the Mankato Family YMCA includes programs and services that build healthy spirit,  mind, body and social well-being for all. The YMCA provides youth and family development, health  and wellness, active older adult programming/social interactions, and community  needs/programming. Providing these services, helps keep us focused on Youth Development,  Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.