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Local woman named Covington YMCA’s top volunteer
Claudia Engelbracht
A YMCA staff member presents Claudia Engelbracht, left, flowers and an award for being named Covington Family YMCA’s Volunteer of the Year. (Special to The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. — A Newton County woman was recently named one of Metro Atlanta YMCA’s Volunteers of the Year.

During the organization’s 2021 Celebration of Community Champions, held virtually Thursday, Feb. 11, Claudia Engelbracht was awarded Covington Family YMCA’s Volunteer of the Year.

“This experience has been a very rewarding and a humbling one,” Engelbracht said. “Supporting our director and staff in our Y’s programs has given me the opportunity to impact our community directly. From turning no child away due to their financial situation to first responder childcare and hunger relief programs, I am honored to be a part of the Covington YMCA.”

Engelbracht has been volunteering at the local YMCA since 2014. She currently serves as the Covington YMCA Advisory Board Chairperson.

Engelbracht said she first got involved with the YMCA when searching for a positive soccer environment for her son. After her son joined the Y’s soccer program, she said she joined the organization and started her journey of volunteerism as a team manager.

“Claudia started volunteering with the Y when her son, Jacob, was a soccer player — she was the team mom and did so much more than that,” a YMCA representative said. “She later was asked to be on our board of management and has served so dutifully. She is currently our board chair, has served on the regional board committees, helped deliver meals through our hunger relief efforts, raised thousands of dollars and takes great care of the staff.”

During the celebration event, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta also honored the late Dr. Michael Lane, who was director of the Global Smallpox Eradication program with the CDC, with the Bransby Christian Leadership Award; Gas South as the Y’s Corporate Partner of the Year; and Atlanta Community Food Bank as its Nonprofit Partner of the Year.

The Y also kicked off its “Why It Matters Annual Giving Campaign” by setting a goal of raising more than $5 million before the end of June. The fundraising campaign supports scholarships for memberships and day camps. In addition, it supports the Y’s hunger relief programs and Y Campus Connection.