YMCA’s of Monmouth County Announce Merger

TapInto Middleton, April 21, 2019

RED BANK, NJ – The Community YMCA in Red Bank, and the YMCA of Western Monmouth County announced last Thursday in Red Bank that they will join together as one YMCA association, creating the second largest YMCA in New Jersey.  This union will be effective September 1, 2019.

Since January 2019, the two YMCA’s have been operating under a management service agreement where The Community YMCA has provided leadership to the western Monmouth County YMCA.  Laurie Goganzer has been serving as President and CEO of both associations and Jennifer Dunn as Chief Operating Officer.

Collectively, these two will serve over 36,000 members, employ more than 1,200 people and work with about 650 volunteers.

Working for almost a year on the analysis and planning, the decision to merge was unanimously approved by both Board of Directors.  Members of the task force were Russ Azzarello, John Badenhop, Stacey DeAlmeida, Tim Hogan, Jennifer Lakefield, Craig McGraw, Ted Nappi and Janet Phillips.

“This union creates an exciting opportunity to serve more individuals and families through a shared mission focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Goganzer said.  “I am truly grateful to our board members, task force and board Chairpersons Stacey DeAlmeida and Jennifer Lakefield for their commitment to the Y mission to make a deeper impact in the communities we serve.”

Combined, the association offers a tremendous variety of services; 11 facilities including: health and wellness branches in Freehold, Old Bridge, and Red Bank; outdoor day camps in Millstone and Wall, a community center in Freehold; counseling and social services centers in Eatontown, Matawan, and in the Leonardo section of Middletown; a child care center in Matawan; and administrative offices in Shrewsbury.  Additionally, both Y’s provide before and after school care services in 40 schools across Monmouth County and The Community YMCA provides therapeutic counseling to children in 53 schools in eastern Monmouth County and parts of Ocean County.

“Coming together will enable both Y’s to benefit from shared resources and enhance our ability to respond to vital needs in our communities, including affordable child care, suicide prevention and mental health and behavioral health care”, said Lakefield, who will become chair of the new board and Chief Volunteer Officer of the unified Y.

“This is an important milestone for The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County.  We believe we will only be stronger together,” said DeAlmeida, incoming first vice president of the new board of directors.

The two Y’s have a history of collaboration, including jointly owning and operating YMCA Camp Zehnder, sharing marketing initiatives, and hosting an annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., event for 31 years.

“Our teams are excited about moving forward as one Y and are already working together to ensure a smooth transition for our members and program participants,” said Jennifer Dunn, Chief Operating Officer overseeing both operations.

Values, health, respect and citizenship.  That’s what they teach and that’s why they’re the best organization on the planet.

To watch a video of the press conference, click HERE.

For more information on The Community YMCA, call 732.671.5501, or click HERE.

For more information on the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, call 732.671.5505 or click on the HERE.

For updates on the merger, visit www.ymcanj.org/strongertogether.


Monmouth County YMCAs Announce Community Relief Initiative at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast

West Long Branch, NJ (January 21, 2019) – YMCAs of Monmouth County announced a collaborative initiative to provide relief to individuals and families in Monmouth County impacted by the recent government shutdown at their 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Breakfast, held today at Branches in West Long Branch.

“In the spirit of Dr. King, the YMCA is proud to put our mission into action to lift our neighbors in need whose lives have been impacted by the current situation in our country,” said Laurie Goganzer, president and chief executive officer of The Community YMCA. “YMCAs in Monmouth County are pleased to open our doors and welcome families affected by the shutdown during this difficult time.”

The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County are offering free access to Y branches and childcare payment relief to current furloughed employees of the federal government for the duration of the shutdown. Affected families who participate in YMCA before and after school programs, preschool in Matawan, and YMCA childcare programs in Freehold may also inquire about modified payment arrangements to ensure continued access to childcare support without disruption to the family routine.

“Federal employees and their families are welcome to visit our Ys during this time and can access the same membership benefits as adult or family members,” Goganzer said. Additionally, the Ys will waive the month of dues for existing Y members impacted by the shutdown, Goganzer said.

The commemorative breakfast, hosted each year by The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County, celebrates the life and teachings of Dr. King. This year’s event was attended by nearly 300 people from across Monmouth County.

The Rev. Ronald L. Sparks, pastor of Bethel AMC Church in Freehold, presented the keynote address at the event. Local students winning this year’s Dr. King essay contest were Solange Skarecki, a sophomore at Asbury Park High School, and Ned Bryant, Jr., a junior at Freehold Regional High School.

Also at the event, thanks to the generosity of attendees, hundreds of new and gently used books were collected in support of Bridge of Books Foundation, which provides an ongoing source of books to underserved children throughout New Jersey.

For more information on the relief campaign, visit www.ymcanj.org/shutdown-relief. To participate, current furloughed federal government employees should visit the Welcome Center or Membership Department at the Red Bank Family YMCA, Freehold YMCA or Old Bridge YMCA, and show proof of current employment and a valid photo ID.


Red Bank, NJ – The Community YMCA and the YMCA of Western Monmouth County are pleased to announce their 30th Annual Commemorative Breakfast celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 21, 2019, from 8 to 10 a.m., at Branches Catering, 123 Monmouth Road, West Long Branch.  Read more>>>




YMCA of Western Monmouth County Joins Welcoming America in Celebrating New Americans During Welcoming Week

A celebration of diversity in our communities

Freehold, NJ, August 10, 2018–This Welcoming Week, taking place September 14-23, the YMCA of Western Monmouth County will join Welcoming America and hundreds of YMCAs and other organizations nationwide in hosting events to celebrate immigrants’ contributions to communities and bring together all residents in a spirit of unity. Launched in 2009, Welcoming America is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is leading the growing movement of inclusive communities nationwide.  “At the Y, we believe communities are stronger when everyone feels welcome and we can all work together for the common good,” said John Worley, Interim President & CEO. “We are proud to be a part of Welcoming Week, which is demonstrating that in places large and small, rural and urban, people of all backgrounds are coming together to create stronger communities. It is a time to celebrate the shared values that unite us as neighbors, parents and colleagues, and to make our towns more welcoming to newcomers and to everyone who calls our community home.” 

During Welcoming Week, the Freehold and Old Bridge branches will offer activities that are open to the public and include a citizenship information session presented by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, a voter registration drive, a comparative religions presentation featuring a moderated panel of religious leaders, and cultural dance demonstrations.  In addition, both branches will have open access to the community from 9:00am-12:00pm and 5:00-8:00pm daily. For a list of Welcoming Week events, visit ymcanj.org, or call 732.462.0464, ext. 132.

“These events are part of a powerful and growing movement in our country and around the world, demonstrating that communities want to be welcoming,” said Rachel Peric, Executive Director of Welcoming America. “Welcoming Week is a reminder of the resilient and inclusive spirit of American communities. Thousands of local leaders nationwide are bringing their communities together to bridge divides and build stronger local economies where everyone belongs.”