Y News

Y News 2017-12-18T13:35:11+00:00

YMCA of Western Monmouth County Names Sharon Halpin as Interim President/CEO

Sharon Halpin Brings 38 Years’ Experience Within the YMCA Movement.

 Freehold, NJ, December 18, 2017— The YMCA of Western Monmouth County has named Sharon Halpin as its Interim President/CEO, effective November 27, 2017. Selected by the Y’s Board of Directors, Halpin will succeed Cynthia Joy who stepped down November 22. “With Sharon’s 38 years of service to the Y and passion towards the Y’s mission, we feel confident that the YMCA of Western Monmouth County will have fantastic leadership,” said Stacey DeAlmeida, YMCA Board Chair.

A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Mrs. Halpin attended Wittenberg University and has made her home in Middletown for over 40 years.  With wellness and fitness always a priority in her life, Sharon began her YMCA career at The Community YMCA as an instructor in both fitness and aquatics.  Her ability to connect with people combined with strong leadership skills set the stage for her to ultimately serve as the Community Y’s Director of Human Resources from 1979-2000.  She joined the YMCA of Western Monmouth County in 2000 as Director of Operations and has served as Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management since 2007.  Known to be an innovative, organized and highly energized leader with broad knowledge, Sharon brings to her new role a proven history of major accomplishments in strategic planning and organizational development.  “I look forward to not only continuing our Y’s long-standing commitment to strengthen the communities of Mercer, Middlesex and Monmouth Counties, but also expanding our opportunities, community partnerships and outreach efforts”, said Mrs. Halpin.

 

New Jersey YMCAs Come Together to Affirm Healthy Communities 

Local YMCAs To Hold Statewide Wellness Event on Jan. 6th to Promote Positive Personal Change and Community Health.

Freehold, NJ, December 13, 2017 – It seems nearly everyone has a “New Year’s resolution,” but statistics indicate that less than a quarter of these resolutions are kept.  To help keep those personal goals real, YMCA’s across the state will conduct Open House events at their local facilities on January 6th. 

To encourage individuals and families to make their resolutions a reality, YMCAs across the state annually come together to promote healthy living in their individual communities.  The Y promise is that when people are engaged in YMCA programs and memberships, children learn what they can achieve, families spend quality time together, and we all build relationships that deepen our sense of belonging.

“The Y is a community that supports individuals and families in reaching their goals,” said Sharon Halpin, Interim President/CEO of YMCA of Western Monmouth County.  “Y staff and volunteers are sincere about helping members in building endurance, losing weight, strengthening your heart. When you join the Y, you’re committing to more than simply becoming healthier. You are supporting the values and programs that strengthen your community.”

To get more out of every day, stop by your local Y on January 6th to see and feel the power of the Y! The Freehold and Old Bridge branches of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County will be offering open access to the community all day.  In addition, from 9:00am-12:00pm, visitors can learn about summer camp offerings, meet personal trainers, and be entered in a drawing for a 3-month membership.  New members who join on that day can also receive a free youth program for one year.

 

Pastor James Gates III to Present Keynote Address at YMCA Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Breakfast                               

Freehold, NJ (November 28, 2017) – Pastor James L. Gates III will be the keynote speaker at the 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Breakfast hosted by The YMCA of Western Monmouth County and The Community YMCA.  The annual YMCA event, which honors the legacy of the civil rights leader, will take place Monday, January 15, 2018, 8 to 10 a.m., at Branches Catering, 123 Monmouth Road, West Long Branch.

“We are proud to be part of an organization that is committed to strengthening community, and there is no better message about the legacy of service than Dr. King,” said Sharon Halpin, Interim President & CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County.

“Dr. King said, ‘Greatness is determined by service’. In that spirit, the Y continues to strengthen individuals and our community,” said Laurie Goganzer, President & CEO of The Community YMCA.

Pastor James L. Gates III, affectionately known as “Jamie” is a native of Neptune, New Jersey, and presently employed with the Newark Public School System as a journeyman in the Glazier’s Union #1009.  In February 1998, he accepted the call to ministry and became a licensed Minister under the pastorate of Rev. James H. Brown Sr. of the United Fellowship Baptist Church in Asbury Park, NJ.  In his desire for truth and understanding of the word of God he pursued his biblical studies at New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 2004.  He served as the Youth Minister for 10 years at United Fellowship where he helped to build “Youth of Purpose, Power and Praise.”

In July of 2014, Rev. Gates was called to lead the congregation of New Hope Baptist of Toms River, NJ and subsequently was ordained and installed in November 2014 as the Pastor.  His vision has inspired the church to be an effective and relevant, cutting edge, faith-filled body of Christ followers that are committed to biblical truth while addressing the diverse needs of God’s Kingdom.  His vision along with the congregation now serves as a spiritual family that LOVES without discrimination, LIVES by Kingdom principles, and LEADS by example.

In conjunction with the event, the Ys are sponsoring an Annual Essay Contest that is open to all high school students that participate in YMCA programs. This year, there will be one grand prize winner. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship for their education, as well as a full-year youth membership to The Community YMCA or the YMCA of Western Monmouth County.  Further information and an application is available at www.ymcanj.org.

Seating for the breakfast is limited; please RSVP by January 8, 2018. Tickets are $30 per adult, $10 per youth (12 & under) or $250 per table of 10 and are available online at www.ymcanj.org/mlk.  For more information, contact Michelle Born at 732.462.0464 extension 125, or e-mail mborn@ymcanj.org.

 

New Jersey YMCAs, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Collaborate on Drug Prevention Initiative

Program encourages and helps parents talk to their kids about substance use

Freehold, NJ – November 13, 2017 – YMCA of Western Monmouth County, a member of the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, in collaboration with The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, is introducing a new initiative designed to encourage and support parents in having meaningful and effective conversations with their children to prevent drug use.

Launching this month, this effort will include information regarding substance abuse, tools such as conversation starters, and resources where families may obtain additional information and counsel. Materials will be available at Freehold and Old Bridge branches of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County as well as YMCAs throughout New Jersey, and on the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance website.

As a charitable organization, the Y is focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Supporting parents and the community in their efforts to raise healthy, confident, connected children is core to the Y’s mission to help all people grow in spirit, mind and body.

In New Jersey, high rates of opioid addiction have claimed an estimated 5,000 lives in the past decade, with more people dying in New Jersey in 2016 from drug overdoses than from guns, car accidents and suicides, combined. According to the Office of the State Medical Examiner of New Jersey, there were between 2,090 and 2,250 drug-related deaths overall in New Jersey in 2016, up from 1,587 in 2015.  New Jersey also has the sixth highest rate in the nation of visits to the emergency room due to opioid abuse. And naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose, has been administered over 25,000 times in New Jersey since 2014.

“The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has always encouraged communication between children and their parents and caregivers because it is the most effective way to prevent substance misuse and abuse. With the epidemic levels of opioid abuse impacting our state, the time is now to educate and raise awareness among parents and caregivers about the potential for dependency of prescribed medicine, as well as trends of substances that are abused,” explained Angelo M. Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. “Communication between parents and their children is crucial if we are to make inroads in preventing this epidemic and stemming substance misuse in our state.”

“The path from drug use to drug addiction can be quick and intense. Parents need to address it head on with their children. Prevention is not passive. It is an active, earnest undertaking and it starts early and requires regular reinforcement,” said David M. Carcieri, president of New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. “We’ve seen the devastating impact of addiction on families in the communities we serve throughout New Jersey. We believe we can help and we see this role as supporter and community convener as a perfect fit with our mission.”  The plan is multi-phased, with the goal of providing additional assets in the form of print, video and social media materials to make accessible effective resources for families.

“We all know that one person can make a big difference in the lives of children and no one has more of an impact than a parent,” said Jonathan R. Pearson, executive director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. “Drug addiction doesn’t discriminate and that’s why every parent needs to educate and empower their kids by talking to them about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. A parent’s love, support and guidance is critical to putting a child on a lifelong path to success, health and happiness.”

 

YMCA of Western Monmouth County Recognizes Youth Volunteer of the Yeaer

FREEHOLD, NJ, November 9, 2017 – The YMCA of Western Monmouth County honored volunteer Jared Katz at the 17th Annual New Jersey YMCA State Alliance Celebration on Oct. 19 at Forsgate Country Club.  The Alliance celebration recognizes volunteers for their service and commitment to the community by making significant volunteering contributions to programs and people at their local YMCA.

Jared, a student at Colts Neck High School, has volunteered at the Y for many years with the Summer Literacy Program and Swim/Multi Sport Camp.  Jared volunteered himself and many of his friends to provide fun literacy opportunities to our youth throughout the Summer.  “It’s great and rewarding to know that you are making a difference in someone else’s life and helping them grow as a person,” said Jared.

As one of the leading nonprofits and volunteer organizations in the country, nearly 600,000 people volunteer at the Y each year and give back through activities such as mentoring teens, coaching youth sports, serving on our boards and spearheading fundraising drives. These opportunities also help volunteers enhance their personal well-being and develop meaningful relationships – all while making an impact in communities they care about. “Without volunteers, the Y wouldn’t be the same; they’re the heart and soul of our organization and without their hard work, dedication and selflessness we couldn’t do the work we do every day to help kids, families and communities thrive,” said Cynthia Joy, President & CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County.

YMCA of Western Monmouth County’s 15th Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser

Freehold Patch, September 20, 2017

Help us to continue to provide scholarships benefiting families and children in need throughout our community

FREEHOLD, NJ, September 20, 2017 – The YMCA of Western Monmouth County invites the community to attend their 15th Annual Golf Outing on Monday, October 16th, at Battleground Country Club. The funds raised at this event through sponsorships, raffles, silent/ticket auctions and player participation helps the Y provide scholarships benefiting families and children in need throughout the community.

“At the Y, we’ve made a promise to strengthen our community by providing more than $350,000 through our Financial Assistance Program in support of our mission,” says Cynthia Joy, President & Chief Executive Officer, “proceeds from all our fundraising efforts and events are used to make a meaningful, enduring impact right in our own neighborhood,” she continued.

The full-day outing begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and continental breakfast, followed by a 10:00 a.m. shotgun start and 2:30 p.m. reception and buffet luncheon. Hole-in-one prizes include a 2017 Honda CR-V,

2014 Kawasaki 1700 DEFA, 2017 Lincoln MKZ two-year, pre-pay lease, Masters package valued at $19,000, and $10,000 cash prize. Team prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place will be awarded, as well as prizes for longest drive, closest to pin and straightest drive.

The cost for the full-day package is $300 per golfer and $1,100 per foursome. In addition, many sponsorship opportunities are available for community organizations and those who cannot attend but wish to support the Y’s cause. For further information, visit www.ymcanj.org, or contact Michele Born at 732.462.0464 ext. 125.

New Drug Counseling Services, Alcohol Support Group Coming To East Windsor

East Windsor Patch, September 19, 2017

The professional services for East Windsor and Hightstown residents launch the first week of October.
EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, NJ — A local substance abuse initiative supported by the county is coming to East Windsor. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Support for individuals and families, provided by Family Guidance Center, will be available for local residents beginning Tuesday, Oct. 3, township officials announced during the township-sponsored “Knock Out Opioid” Town Hall Monday night.

Professional services will be available to residents in East Windsor and Hightstown, as the two towns share the East Windsor Regional School District. They will be offered at the Western Monmouth County YMCA facility, located at 230 Mercer Street (Route 33) in Hightstown. The agency’s clinician will be available from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, with an appointment. To make an appointment, call 609-731-2461.

“This new anti-substance abuse initiative which provides professional clinical services based right here in our community is an exciting highly needed step forward in making available local options to assist local individuals at risk,” East Windsor Mayor Janice S. Mironov said. “As so many individuals and families are and will be impacted by opiate abuse and addiction, it is important to offer professional support and resources in efforts to effectively address these mental health and substance abuse issues and situations.

“We are extremely grateful to the Mercer County Department of Human Services for their on-going advocacy and support in identifying start-up funding and the needed steps to launch this important pro-active initiative. My thanks to the Western Monmouth YMCA and their CEO Cynthia Joy for enthusiastically stepping forward as a partner in housing this project. I also want to recognize and applaud the many concerned local citizens and parents who have made their voices heard and joined together with us at several meetings to push for implementation of these vital professional services and other support opportunities. And I urge them to remain pro-active as we have much work ahead of us to make these new service efforts widely known and successfully utilized and thereafter build on these initial steps to further serve the needs of our community.”

Additionally, a regular program titled “Parenting Wisely, by Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction (MCADA)” will offer weekly sessions beginning Wednesday, Oct. 4. These sessions are “geared to increase parental communications and coping mechanisms for those with children who are at risk or exhibiting behavioral problems.” To register, call 609-396-5874, ext. 209.

Family Guidance Center will host an Open House at the new offices at the Western Monmouth County YMCA building at 230 Mercer Street on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This event offers an opportunity to meet the staff, tour the facilities and obtain information and answers to questions concerning these new local initiatives and programs. The mayor strongly urged “people to stop by and become informed about the new programs, so we can best refer those at risk and in need and make valuable use of these new resources.”

Don’t Let a Fear of Falls Hold You Back

Each year on the first day of fall, national organizations from the Falls Free Coalition and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) join together for National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, a day of action to help raise awareness and prevention of falls.  On Friday, September 22, the YMCA of Western Monmouth County is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals to unite to raise awareness to prevent falls among older adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult in the U.S. is treated in the ER for a fall-related injury every 14 seconds and dies from a fall-related injury every 29 minutes. Additionally, falls put an immense strain on the health care system, with the financial toll expected to reach $67.7 billion by 2020. The good news is falls are preventable, and the first step to prevention is understanding risk. With a focus on healthy aging, the Y is committed to helping older adults learn their fall risk and access programs that can help them reduce their risk for falls.

“Falling and fear of falling may can prevent older adults from staying active, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and actually increases their risk of falling,” said Cynthia Joy, President & CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County. “The good news is that falls are highly preventable and help is available for older adults and their families who want to get active but don’t know how.”

As a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health for all families, the YMCA of Western Monmouth County encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking a fall risk test at  https://ymcanj.org/falls-prevention-risk-assessment-2017/.

Once risk is assessed, the Y is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by reducing fall risk through fitness classes like Silver Sneakers, Strength & Balance, Tai-Chi, as well as water fitness classes like Swimnastics and Joint Effort.

The CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce risk or prevent falls:

  • Begin an exercise program to improve your leg strength & balance.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines.
  • Get annual eye check-ups & update your eyeglasses.
  • Make your home safer by:
    • Removing clutter & tripping hazards.
    • Putting railings on all stairs & adding grab bars in the bathroom.
    • Installing proper lighting, especially on stairs.

 

YMCA of Western Monmouth County Announces New Board Chairperson & Officers

June 20, 2017 – The YMCA of Western Monmouth County has selected Stacey DeAlmeida as the Chairperson of its Board of Directors.  Ms. DeAlmeida was appointed to the position, which carries a two-year term, on June 19th during the YMCA’s Annual Board of Directors’ meeting and upon the completion of past-Chair, Robert V. Weiss’ term.   A graduate of Bucknell University, DeAlmeida is Senior Risk Analyst for Berkshire Bank and has been a member of the YMCA Board for four years.  She resides in Marlboro with her husband, Dan, and three daughters.

“We are very fortunate to have an outstanding tradition of strong volunteer leadership at the YMCA of Western Monmouth County.  There is a direct relationship between organization achievement and Board strength,” said Cynthia Joy, President/CEO of the YMCA.  “We are fortunate to attract our community’s leading citizens in our ongoing effort to improve our community’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors.”

Along with the change in leadership, also appointed were:  1st Vice Chair – Russell Azzarello, Denholtz Associates; 2nd Vice Chair – Selma Camacho, McGraw Hill Financial; Treasurer – Michael Trigili, CPA, Trigili CPA’s & Consulting, LLC; Secretary – Mark Saker, Esq., Lomurro Law; and Past Chair – Robert V. Weiss, Jr.

 

May Is National Water Safety Month

April 28, 2017 – Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14. With National Water Safety Month in May and summer around the corner, it’s a great time for parents to remember the importance of ensuring their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Freehold YMCA offers youth swim lessons year round towards reducing the risk of childhood drowning, instilling a lifelong love of swimming and educating children on safety around different water environments.

Before letting your children hit the water this summer, the Y is offering these few tips to ensure it’s an enjoyable and safe experience.

1. Never swim alone. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty.

2. Supervise your children whenever they’re in water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or lake, make sure your children are within arm’s reach of you at all time.

3. Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children shouldn’t hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can cause drowning and has several other severe physical side-effects.

4. Wear a Life Jacket: Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

5. Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural reaction may be to jump in the water to try to save them. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower them, pulling them underwater with them. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for them and pull them to safety. By using these technique children can help their friend without compromising their own safety.

6. Enroll your children in water safety or swim lessons. Just like teaching your children to look both ways before they cross the street, having them participate in formal water safety lessons teaches them an important life skill.

Learning how to swim also has multiple benefits beyond the ability to enjoy water safely. It helps children strive for physical achievement, promotes healthy living and builds their confidence.

Springsteen sculpture? Freehold Y’s big dreams for young artists

Asbury Park Press, April 23, 2017

An innovative project is vying for a big grant from the USA Today Network.

Ned Bryant had no interest in art until a few weeks ago, when he saw other youths designing T-shirts at the Freehold Borough YMCA Community Center.

The 14-year-old freshman at Freehold High School joined in “because I like shirts,” he said. Now he’s hooked. He’s also quite talented.  “I just sat down in front of a piece of paper with a pencil and started drawing,” Bryant said. “I never knew I could draw like that. I really like it.”

Bryant’s group is painting and sketching under the guidance of local artist Vellus Campbell, who hopes this is the start of something big. Dubbed “The Red HeARTed Sleeve Project,” her initiative ultimately aims to pair participants with experts in various mediums — painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, poetry and niche pursuits like T-shirt design.

“I have been sitting on this idea for almost 10 years,” Campbell said. “I never really had the guts to go forward with it.”

A contest sponsored by the USA Today Network provided a spark. Next month the network is awarding a $100,000 grand prize and two $50,000 prizes for innovative community-engagement programs.

What could Campbell achieve with that kind of bankroll?

“I would buy a whole bunch of art supplies,” Campbell said.

Her proteges also could pursue a big, high-profile project. For example: A sculpture of Freehold’s most renowned native, to be donated or auctioned off.

“If we could make a sculpture of Bruce Springsteen, that would be great,” she said. “I’d definitely have to reach out to artisans who are a lot more informed in that medium.”

YMCA of Western Monmouth County Honors Preston Family and Graeme Preston Foundation For Life

Freehold, NJ, March 22,  2017 – The YMCA of Western Monmouth County held its “One Enchanted Evening” Gala Celebration on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Battleground Country Club.  This year’s Honorees were The Preston Family and The Graeme Preston Foundation for Life and the event’s Premier Sponsor was Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

“The Y brings families closer together, encouraging healthy options and fosters those important relations and connections through fitness, sports, shared interest and time together. The Y provides a welcoming place, fostering an environment that exhibits caring and respect for all.” said Robert V. Weiss, Jr., Chief Volunteer Officer, during his welcoming remarks.  “It connects a diverse population, giving emotional support and encouragement.  I volunteer because I believe in giving back and making our community a better place. Tonight all of you have joined me in doing the same. Thank you.” he continued.

“It was a wonderful evening celebrating the YMCA’s accomplishments, along with highlighting what our Honorees have done for our community. It helped us raise much-needed dollars that go towards our Y Cares Financial Assistance Program and sending community kids to summer camp,” said Cynthia Joy, YMCA of Western Monmouth County’s President and CEO.

The Graeme Preston Foundation For Life, formed in 2008 to honor Graeme Preston, who passed away at age 12, to celebrate his life and start a movement built on kindness and generosity.  In addition, Patrick Preston, brother of Freehold Township Mayor Lester Preston, is a former Y Board member and past Endowment Committee Chair and continues to be a volunteer coach.  The Graeme Preston Foundation supports individuals and groups who demonstrate and uphold the principles by which Graeme lived.  From offering scholarships to deserving youth, to helping local families who have suffered an unexpected loss or hardship, the Foundation has provided grants of over $575,000 to families and organizations in the community.  For more information on the Foundation, visit www.graemeprestonfoundation.org.

Highlights of the evening included entertainment by Mission Dance band, a 50/50 raffle, and silent and ticket auction items. All proceeds from this event go directly to our YCares Financial Assistance Program which enables our Association to offer programs and services to all members of our community regardless of their ability to pay.

Seton Hall Basketball Legend Jerry Walker Visits Freehold Borough YMCA Colonial Basketball League

FREEHOLD, NJ, March 9, 2017 – Hoops star Jerry Walker, formerly of Seton Hall University, the New Jersey Nets and many years playing basketball abroad in countries like Spain and Turkey, made a special trip to the Freehold Borough YMCA and the Colonial Basketball League last weekend.

Mr. Walker has enjoyed a wonderful career spanning the globe playing basketball, however, it is his love of helping young people to succeed in life that brought him to the Freehold Borough YMCA.  Jerry Walker is co-founder of Team Walker, an organization formed in 1996 towards giving Jersey City youth after-school programs that point them in a positive direction for future success.  Craig McGraw, Board member of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County and a long-time friend of Jerry Walker, invited Mr. Walker to meet with Mel O’Neal, Branch Director of the Freehold Borough YMCA.  Shoni Hickman, Assistant Director of the Freehold Borough YMCA and Colonial Basketball League President of six years, arranged for Jerry Walker to meet the Colonial Basketball players, coaches, league officials, parents and fans while signing autographs.  Mr. Walker was personable and inspirational, leaving Freehold with a new fan base.

Additionally, as a result of the visit Mr. Walker and Mr. O’Neal have created a bridge for youth members of Team Walker and the Freehold Borough YMCA and are very excited to have youth members of both organizations unite for valued recreation and life skills going forward. “Team Walker and the Freehold Borough YMCA have a shared commitment to make remarkable contributions in the development of youth members and to the health and vitality of those youth in their respective communities,” said Mel O’Neal.

“On behalf of the YMCA, the Colonial Basketball League, and many parents and guardians, we offer a very sincere thank you to our Board member Craig McGraw for arranging this meeting and Jerry Walker for his ongoing dedication and continued interest in developing youth,” added Cynthia Joy, President & CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County.

For those interested in sponsoring transportation to transport youth to and from the Freehold Borough YMCA to Team Walker, please contact 732-845-5273.  For further information about Team Walker, visit www.teamwalker.org.

Caitlin Radice, Manalapan 12th Grader Receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

FREEHOLD, NJ, February 28, 2017 – Caitlin Radice, age 18, of Manalapan, and member of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.  The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.  The YMCA of Western Monmouth County nominated Caitlin for national honors this fall in recognition of her volunteer service.

Caitlin has volunteered to share her love of dance with YMCA youth members for the last four years.  She volunteers weekly and teaches pop, hip hop, and urban dance to youth that bombard her the moment she walks through the door with hugs and sincere excitement!  “Caitlin’s energy, enthusiasm and loyalty to her students and the Y has created an electricity for participants, staff and our Y” said Mel O’Neal, Executive Branch Director.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.  “The recipients of these awards demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” said John Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial.  “By recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer activities, we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community.”  “Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life,” adds NASSP Executive Director, JoAnn Bartoletti.  “These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

Prudential Spirit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates.  These schools and officially-designated local organizations nominated Local Honorees, whose applications were advanced for state-level judging.  In addition to granting President’s Volunteer Service Awards on behalf of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards selected State Honorees, Distinguished Finalist and Certificate of Excellence recipients.  Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.

Merrill Lynch Awards Sponsorship to YMCA of Western Monmouth County 2017 Gala

FREEHOLD, NJ, February 22, 2017 – Merrill Lynch has donated $10,000 to the YMCA of Western Monmouth County to become Premier Sponsor of the Y’s 2017 Annual Gala, scheduled for March 11th  at Battleground County Club.  This year, the Y Gala will honor The Preston Family and The Graeme Preston Foundation For Life.

“We are thrilled and excited about the generous support from Merrill Lynch as our Gala Premier Sponsor.  Pat Preston has been a great volunteer and a leader in our community, and we look forward to celebrating the Preston Family and the Graeme Preston Foundation for their contributions to the community,” said Cynthia Joy, President & CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County.   Peter Ardolino, Managing Director with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, added “We are proud to demonstrate our continued support for two fantastic and impactful local organizations, The YMCA of Western Monmouth County and the The Graeme Preston Foundation for Life.”

Featured at the Gala event are ticket and silent auctions and a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and dancing to the music of the Premier Band of the Jersey Shore, “Mission Dance”.  Tickets are on sale now for $195 per person.  All proceeds of the Gala will benefit the YCares Financial Assistance Program.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and additional information, please call Michele Born at 732.462.0464, ext. 125, or e-mail mborn@ymcanj.org or go to our website at www.ymcanj.org.

YMCA of Western Monmouth County To Recognize The Preston Family & The Graeme Preston Foundation For Life

Freehold, NJ  February 8, 2017 – The YMCA of Western Monmouth County announces its “One Enchanted Evening” Annual Gala Celebration on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Battleground Country Club.

Joined by Premier Sponsor, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, the Y will honor The Preston Family and The Graeme Preston Foundation For Life, formed in 2008 to honor Graeme Preston, who passed away at age 12, to celebrate his life and start a movement built on kindness and generosity.  In addition, Patrick Preston, brother of Freehold Township Mayor Lester Preston, is a former Y Board Member and continues to be a volunteer coach.

The Graeme Preston Foundation supports individuals and groups who demonstrate and uphold the principles by which Graeme lived. From offering scholarships to deserving youth, to helping local families who have suffered an unexpected loss or hardship, the Foundation has provided grants of over $500,000 to families and organizations in the community.  For more information on the Foundation, visit www.graemeprestonfoundation.org.

Featured at the Gala event are ticket and silent auctions and a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and dancing to the music of  the Premier Band of the Jersey Shore, “Mission Dance”.

Tickets are on sale now for $195 per person.  Exciting sponsorship opportunities are also available.  50/50 Cash raffle tickets for this year’s Gala are also on sale for $100 with three fantastic prizes – 1st Prize – 35% of winning share up to $17,500; 2nd Prize -10% of winning share up to $5,000; 3rd Prize – 5% of winning share up to $2,500  Only 500 Tickets will be sold.  Winners need not be present.  All proceeds of the Gala will benefit the YCares Financial Assistance Program.

“As an organization committed to strengthening community, the Y is honored to be able to provide financial assistance to the children and families of our community who cannot otherwise afford the vital services the Y provides,” said YMCA of Western Monmouth County President and CEO Cynthia Joy.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and additional information, please call Michele Born at 732.462.0464, ext. 125, or e-mail mborn@ymcanj.org or go to our website at www.ymcanj.org.

Thank you to Investors Bank Foundation

January 31, 2017 – For their support of our Annual Gala, Annual Golf Outing, and shared commitment to strengthen our community.  Pictured, from left: Michael Trigili, Robert Weiss, Craig McGraw, Michael Wright, Dan Fishman, Cynthia Joy, Russell Azzarello, Shari Scaramuzzo

 

 

The YMCA of Western Monmouth County Invites The Community To Go Red For Heart Health

January 24, 2017 – February is designated by the American Heart Association as American Heart Month to raise awareness of heart disease & stroke. The good news is that heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. “The Y is here to help you improve your health and potentially avoid heart disease,” says Cynthia Joy, President & CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, “being physically active every day is fun and can improve the function of your heart.”

The YMCA of Western Monmouth County is inviting the community to join them on Friday, February 3rd to Go Red for Heart Health.  The Freehold and Old Bridge Branches will be offering special Zumba fitness classes, health screenings, nutrition counseling and a stress management seminar.  The Freehold YMCA is located at 470 East Freehold Road in Freehold, NJ; and the Old Bridge YMCA is at 1 Mannino Park Drive in Old Bridge, NJ.  For more information, visit www.ymcanj.org. For further information on The American Heart Association and heart health, visit www.heart.org.