Mark Bradley, a Forsyth County resident, was honored with the Forsyth County Family YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award during the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s virtual 2021 Celebration of Community Champions on Thursday, Feb. 11.
“I was elated when I learned that I won the award,” Bradley said. “I honestly didn’t think I’d done enough, but apparently, somebody else did.”
Bradley has been a member of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta since it opened a location in Forsyth County, taking his kids to swim team meetings since 2013. Now, years later, he serves as the chairman of the board and of the Why It Matters campaign, a charity group for YMCA Metro Atlanta.
“After volunteering with [the swim team],” Bradley said, “Everything really just spiraled from there.”
Outside of the YMCA, Bradley has been on several Realtor boards including the Georgia Association of Realtors and Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors. He also runs a real estate company in Alpharetta, HomeSouth Residential Inc., and explained that he tries to find volunteering opportunities through that.
“When we do well at work, we want to give back to the community,” Bradley said.
Bradley said he has always had a zeal for volunteering and that the YMCA helped him realize his passion.
“The Y is not only available to a certain niche of the public, but are broadly focused on trying to assist as many groups of people as they can,” Bradley said. “Volunteering at the Y has made me aware of how many people really need our help.”
Bradley said the Forsyth County location suffered a decrease in members when COVID-19 first hit in March 2020. Because of the pandemic, the location had to re-budget and adapt to new protocols and safety procedures. He said that “the YMCA will definitely continue to weather the storm.”
He said that membership has begun to pick back up in recent months following the gym’s reopening in June of 2020.
Bradley said that while he is grateful for being awarded the Volunteer of the Year award, he is excited about the YMCA’s future in Forsyth County as it continues to grow and persevere.
“Now that I’m in this thick, I’m sure I’ll always be involved and heavily support [the YMCA],” Bradley said. “I think the Y definitely has a bright future ahead of it. It’s just got a lot going for it.”