News Date: 

Friday, October 26, 2012


Penfield Post

Eastside YMCA, Sarah Jane Clifford honored by Penfield Business Association

Penfield, N.Y. — The Penfield Business Association has named the Eastside Family YMCA as the 2012 Business of the Year.

Sarah Jane Clifford, owner of Gymnastics Training Center, was named the recipient of the Daniel Penfield Award, which is given to an individual who demonstrates leadership through business and the local community.

Both were recognized along with other nominees at the third annual awards ceremony at Penfield Country Club on Thursday, Oct. 25.

The Eastside YMCA was selected from a pool of four businesses nominated for the honor. It opened in 2006 and has more than 18,000 members.

The Y has hosted community events such as the Penfield High School senior bash and has provided more than $300,000 in financial assistance to individuals seeking memberships every year.

Executive Director Kevin Fitzpatrick said the Y's success would not be possible without help from others.

"We couldn't do what we do without the help of other organizations and businesses in Penfield," he said.

In addition to owning Gymnastics Training Center, Clifford also owns the Botsford School of Dance and Fit by Five Preschool Program at her Penfield facility.

The GTC has grown 40 percent in the month of September — an accomplishment Clifford attested to the Olympic coverage of gymnastics.

Clifford is also involved in numerous community programs such as Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club of Rochester and the Pre-K Advisory Board for Penfield schools.

"It is a huge honor to be recognized by my fellow business associates," said Clifford. "I have never taken a business course, but I've had some great mentors."

Finalists for the Business of the Year award also included Affaire de Chocolat, Rochester Lawn and Garden Center and Wickham Farms.

The Daniel Penfield Award nominees included Jeff Chapman of Penfield Financial Group, Brett Dawson of Dawson Law Firm, Mike Quinn of Pyramid Brokerage and Leslie Zornow of Fairport Savings Bank.