Jason Jones, a YMCA board member, accepted the award on Thursday, Feb. 16.
Jason Jones’s passion isn’t defined by any one thing at the Plant City Family YMCA. He just wants to help out whenever and wherever he can.
Jones’s involvement with the Plant City Y has seen the board member work on multiple projects to help those with fitness and fundraising goals. His desire to lend a hand keeps him busy — so busy that he had no idea his coworkers recently named him the 2017 Volunteer of the Year.
“When they first told me, several weeks back, I was shocked and excited,” Jones says. “I didn’t know they had put me in the running for that. I had never even thought about it. I just focus on the Y.”
Jones, who owns and operates Advantage Restoration and Contracting in Plant City, has been a member of the Y for over 10 years. He first became involved by coaching youth sports, which he realized was beneficial for more than just his own children.
Around six years ago, Jones says Jarrett-Scott Ford owner Jim Scott asked him to join the Plant City Y’s board of directors. He was elected chairman of the board three times, serving in that role from 2014 to 2016, and has dedicated much of his free time to the Y’s programs.
“The YMCA is like a family to me,” Jones says. “It’s a family away from my family, but my family uses it, too.”
Jones has helped improve the Plant City Y’s youth sports and other fitness programs, and has been working to help bring a competitive swimming team back into town. He helped the Plant City branch’s summer camps develop further, which included the addition of free swimming lessons for all campers. He assists in the Y’s Strong Leader program, Dean’s Ride and other fundraisers, and helped bring executive director Zach Hilferding aboard in 2016. Jones is also working to bring back the Plant City Y’s annual luau event, which was held as a thank-you event for donors but had been sidelined for several years.
“It doesn’t even seem like work,” Jones says. “It’s great. It’s fun, doing it.”
Although his schedule will be even more full in 2018 — Jones is the 2018 chair-elect for the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce — he doesn’t plan to stop helping the Y when the need arises.
“I give everything I’ve got to the Y,” Jones says. “All my time, anything I can do for the Y. I think it’s a great organization.”
Contact Justin Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org.