Montréal, May 26 mai, 2014 – The YMCAs of Québec wishes to pay tribute to Marcel Côté, who died on May 25,2014. Mr. Côté chaired the Foundation’s Mentors’ Circle, consisting of former volunteers with the YMCA’s governance, and was a member of its Heritage Club, honorary member of The YMCAs of Québec and Officer of the YMCA Canada’s Fellowship of Honour. A respected economist and strategic advisor, he demonstrated immeasurable loyalty and dedication to the YMCA for almost half a century.
“In 1972, when Marcel Côté joined the YMCA as a member of the Downtown YMCA’s International Committee, we couldn’t have known then that his arrival would be a turning point in the evolution and the very existence of our Association. His passion, conviction and determination made him one of the builders of The YMCAs of Québec as we know it today,” said Stéphane Vaillancourt, President and CEO of The YMCAs of Québec.
So many of our achievements would simply not have been possible without Mr. Côté’s generous participation and leadership. As a volunteer and major donor, he gave unstintingly of his time, energy and talent to the YMCA’s various committees and boards, including the local advisory board of the Downtown YMCA, the board of directors of The YMCAs of Québec and The YMCAs of Québec Foundation. He played a crucial role in the YMCA’s turnaround after the most financially difficult decade in its history and made a significant contribution to the success of the $20 million revitalization campaign, which made it possible to build a new YMCA in the heart of downtown Montréal.
Mr. Côté always appreciated the work done by the YMCA, particularly in the areas of employability and community development. He was enthusiastic about our innovative, community-based approaches to resolving societal issues. He was convinced of the role played by the volunteers, people who got involved for the betterment of their community, but also recognized the key role played by the personnel, especially those who were as concerned with the city of Montréal as he was. And throughout it all, he was humble when receiving honours and tributes as well as unfailingly good-humoured.
“We are grateful to Marcel for everything he did, but also because he continues to help us even today, through the Endowment Fund—which he helped create—that ensures a solid future for The YMCAs of Québec. He firmly believed that the YMCA was an important agent of social change in Montréal and always supported us in our efforts to help those society has overlooked,” added Laurent Giguère, President of The YMCAs of Québec Foundation.
It is fitting to leave the final word to this great man who was full of optimism: “We become volunteers both from a sense of duty and from a need for satisfaction. The duty to give back to society a little of what we have received. The sense of well-being we feel when we make people a little happier and our society a little more just.” Marcel Côté (acceptance speech for the 2004 Gabrielle and Maurice A. Massé award)*.
The YMCAs of Québec offer heartfelt condolences to Marcel Côté’s family and friends.
About the YMCAs of Québec
The YMCAs of Québec is a charitable organization that builds stronger communities by providing opportunities for everyone to lead fulfilling, active, healthy and engaged lives. Its 10 YMCA centres, International Language School, Ski School, Residence, Camp YMCA Kanawana and its 43 service sites across the province are visited each year by more than 125,000 people. The first YMCA in North America was founded in Montréal in November 1851. The YMCAs of Québec is part of the Canadian network of 50 YMCA associations. For more information, visit ymcaquebec.org or our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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For more information, please contact:
Nathalie Viora, Communications Manager / The YMCAs of Québec
514 849-5331, poste 1215 / 514 523-2006
* Since 1990, the Gabrielle and Maurice A. Massé Award has been given to an individual or couple who, over the years, has made an important contribution in time and in service to The YMCAs of Québec or its Foundation.