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(Hartford, CT, May 5, 2022) – The YMCA of Greater Hartford announced Edward F. Bader as the recipient of this year’s Robert C. Knox Jr., YMCA Distinguished Leadership Award on April 21 at the association’s annual meeting. The award is the highest tribute the YMCA pays to its volunteer leaders who exemplify the ideas of the YMCA and their dedication to preserving the responsibilities and opportunities the Y has to offer.

Mr. Bader is a financial expert whose skilled and diligent work on behalf of the

YMCA’s fundraising, auditing, budgeting, and sustaining programs and

campaigns comprise one component that led to this year’s honor. The other

component concerns his passion to get things done—and to get them done in the most effective ways possible.

“The executive leaders and all the branch directors are always under tremendous pressure not just to break even year after year, but to be fiscally fit year-round,” said Mr. Bader, highlighting why financial stability is so important to the success of the Y. It isn’t always an easy chore, but his career-long experience with accounting, regulations, audits and other key financial competencies has benefitted the YMCA of Greater Hartford in countless ways over the years. As Mr. Bader likes to say, he’s relatively opinionated and strong-willed—which is

exactly what many of the organization’s goals and challenges have required. In fact, that’s precisely why leadership at the Y has asked him on numerous

occasions to head various committees and initiatives. He had also been on the Board of Directors and to this day remains a Trustee.

Mr. Bader first became a member of the YMCA in 1968 while working for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLC. The company had a corporate culture that encouraged employees to serve their communities by working with not-for-profits and other community-based organizations. His fundraising and financial guidance for the YMCA began almost immediately thereafter.


He is very proud of all his Y activities, particularly his role launching the creation of an audit committee to assure that reputational safeguards are in place, and his key involvement initiating the establishment of the Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center.

“I’m gratified with anything I can do that serves the community,” Mr. Bader says. That’s a reflection, too, of his sense of gratitude with regard to his beloved

family—his wife Nancy and their four children, including two sons they adopted from Lithuania almost 25 years ago.

Mr. Bader’s work has been by turns productive, challenging, demanding, and ultimately very fulfilling. “After all,” he declares, “I wouldn’t have spent 54 years doing it if I didn’t enjoy it.”


About YMCA of Greater Hartford: The YMCA of Greater Hartford has been building stronger communities for 170 years. The non-profit is committed to providing resources in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity for all citizens of all ages. In 2021, the association served over 56,000 community members and provided over $750,000 in financial assistance toward valuable resources that provided access to life changing programs. As our communities begins to recover from the pandemic, we will continue to offer foundational programs in education to mitigate lost learning; to fight food insecurity; to support seniors, children and families; as well as swim lessons, childcare, summer camp, LIVESTRONG, and so much more. Join us at and Belong to Something Greater.

Media Contact: Lisa Vega / 213.247.3075 /

Ed Bader Receiving RC Knox Award: photo left to left to right
Phil Kane, 2019 Recipient of the Robert C. Knox, Jr. YMCA Distinguished Leadership

Award and Member, YMCA of Greater Hartford Board of Trustees
Ed Bader, 2021 Recipient of the Robert C. Knox, Jr. YMCA Distinguished

Leadership Award and Member, YMCA of Greater Hartford Board of Trustees
Peter Atherton, 2016 Recipient of the Robert C. Knox, Jr. YMCA Distinguished

Leadership Award and Member, YMCA of Greater Hartford Board of Trustees Harold Sparrow, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Hartford