Wortman Takes Home Seay Award as Moody Family YMCA Celebrates

As that Y.M.C.A. song tells it, “No man does it by himself.”

But one might take home a special honor after helping ensure the neighborhood Y isn’t “short on (its) dough.”

Dallas attorney James “Jess” Wortman received the 2022 Charles E. Seay Outstanding Leadership Award given annually by the Moody Family YMCA on Preston Road to volunteers who demonstrate distinguished service and exemplify the organization’s purpose and ideals.

“His approach to management, scaling, data analytics, and leadership were instrumental in making this the most successful campaign in the history of the Moody Family YMCA of the Park Cities,” said Daniel J. Drabinski, who chairs the organization’s Board of Management.

The presentation came during the annual campaign victory party, held on April 15 at Arlington Hall on Turtle Creek.

“We had a total of 809 gifts that raised $728,271,” executive director Nick Echtenkamp said.

The namesake of the Seay award, created in the 1990s, attended Highland Park schools and, after serving in World War II, formed Seay Sharpe & Co., one of the country’s top life insurance brokerage firms, and gave graciously to his community.

Seay’s philanthropy included significant gifts to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for its dyslexic children’s wing and the Park Cities YMCA for the Seay Natatorium and $31 million to UT Southwestern Medical School.

“He never forgot his upbringing and was highly focused on physical fitness,” Daniel J. Drabinski said. “He was an avid swimmer at the Y, as well as a two-time runner up for the Dallas Country Club golf club championship.”

Seay served on the YMCA Board of Management, Drabinski said. “He worked hard his entire life and used his various gifts to build a business and an estate and then gave his time, talent, and treasure to make our community a better place for everyone.”

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