The New Castle Community YMCA will honor Ralph Blundo with the Jack & Nancy Flannery Salute to Courage Award on Sept. 26.

The event is open to the public and will be held at The New Englander Banquet Center. The reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 6 p.m.

Event sponsorship opportunities are currently available for major and lead sponsors. Table and individual tickets will be released Aug. 12. Tickets for the event are $75 per person or $700 for a table of 10, and available for purchase at the YMCA Downtown.

“Jack & Nancy Flannery exemplified servant leadership, commitment to our community, and the YMCA’s core values. For those reasons, and more, the Y is pleased to honor their legacies with an annual award. This award is presented to a person who embodies the spirit of the YMCA’s core values which are defined as ‘honesty; be truthful in what you say and do. Respect; follow the Golden Rule. Responsibility; be accountable for your promises and actions. Caring; show a sincere concern for others.’”

“The committee and the YMCA are pleased to honor Ralph for his strong character and uncompromising commitment to his players and students,” said Maria McKee, who serves as chief executive officer. “He embodies the core values of the YMCA and instills these values into not only his players but all his students.”

Blundo is an assistant principal at New Castle Senior High School and has been the head varsity boys basketball coach since 2010. He has led the Red Hurricane to six WPIAL championships, becoming the first coach in WPIAL history to win three consecutive titles two different times. Additionally, Blundo led the team to a perfect 31-0 season in 2014 that culminated with a state championship.

More impressive than Blundo’s accomplishments on the court is the impact that he has had on the thousands of kids he has encountered, said the Y. Blundo has dedicated himself to the young men and women of the district, encouraging and assisting them to reach their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstances.

“When I look at the list of people who have received this honor, and why each received it, it’s difficult for me to place myself in their category,” Blundo said when he learned he was the recipient. “The challenges that each of them have met, head on, are beyond comparison. That said, I am beyond honored and humbled to be chosen.”

In 1993, Ralph Blundo’s grandfather, George Joseph, received the Salute to Courage award. Joseph was the second honoree of a now 17-year and counting tradition.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Y’s Annual Campaign, which provides life-changing programs and memberships to more than 1,000 youth, adults, older adults and families every year.

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