The 10th Annual John R. Blossman YMCA Humanitarian Award and Charity Banquet is set for Nov. 1, honoring Shane Loper. Tickets and sponsorships are now available. Proceeds from the event go directly into the Strong Kids Campaign, which is the fundraising vehicle for the YMCA Financial Assistance Program. This program provides scholarships to children and families in financial need in the form of discounts of YMCA memberships and programs. In 2017, $100,820 in membership and program discounts were granted to 466 individuals from across the Gulf Coast through this program. The YMCA Humanitarian Banquet is one of only two events that the YMCA holds to raise money for the Strong Kids Campaign. “The YMCA is called by its mission to serve the entire community. The call extends to many that cannot afford the prices charged for services,” said Joey Conwill, wellness director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blossman YMCA. “The beauty of the organization is the very rich, the very poor and all in between enjoy the same memberships…the same programs. This event gives us the chance to tell our story, to show so many that the YMCA is about service and community.” The charity event is celebrating its 10th year and it has grown each year in attendance and money raised, according to Conwill. Every year the YMCA Board nominates and selects a local humanitarian to receive the John R. Blossman Humanitarian Award. “The award was created to recognize those, like John, who put his fellow man first and is given each year at a banquet proudly hosted by the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino,” Conwill said. This year the recipient of the award is Shane Loper, chief operating officer of Hancock Whitney Corporation, and he would like to see the event raise $100,000. The Ocean Springs native is an alumnus of Leadership Gulf Coast and the Gulf Coast Business Council (GCBC) Master’s Program. Additionally, he is a past board member of the Gulf Coast Business Council. Loper currently serves on the Mississippi School of Banking Board of Directors and is a past president and board member of the USM Foundation. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant appointed him to serve on the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services board. He also chaired and was a member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA board for seven years. Loper also served his state and nation as a Mississippi Army National Guard Infantry Officer and Major for more than 16 years. Hancock Whitney Corporation is the presenting sponsor for this year’s event, and Lemon-Mohler Insurance Agency has committed to match up to $5,000 of donations to support program scholarships. The 10th Annual John R. Blossman YMCA Humanitarian Award and Charity Banquet will be held Nov. 1 at the Beau Rivage Casino and Resort. The reception and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30. Table sponsorships are available at a variety of levels. Individual tickets are $100, and the YMCA is also accepting donations. For information on tickets and sponsorships, contact Conwill at 228.875.5050 or [email protected]. To learn more about the YMCA, visit their website.