Former Mayor Appointed to Lead Volunteer Committee | OLD BRIDGE, NJ (Oct. 11, 2021) – The Old Bridge Family YMCA has a new group of advocates to help ensure that all area children and families can experience the Y, regardless of their ability to pay.

The family health and wellness facility, part of the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County, has established the Old Bridge Branch Advisory Council to support the organization’s charitable mission and cause to strengthen community. The volunteer council is led by former township Mayor Russell Azzarello, a longtime YMCA supporter and board member, civic leader, and business development professional.

“The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is thrilled to launch the Old Bridge Branch Advisory Council under Russell’s leadership to help guide our efforts to strengthen the Old Bridge community,” said Laurie Goganzer, president and chief executive officer of the Y, which provides extensive programs and services to approximately 35,000 people in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Azzarello has been a supporter of the Y since 2002 and currently serves on the board of directors of the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County. The regional YMCA was established in 2019 following a merger of The Community YMCA and the YMCA of Western Monmouth County. He is vice president of Denholtz Properties, a commercial real estate development and investment company based in Red Bank. Azzarello was mayor in the 1980s and is past president of the Old Bridge Chamber of Commerce.

The advisory council will focus on fundraising and advocacy to support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility programs and initiatives, Goganzer said. In addition to Azzarello, township residents appointed to the YMCA Old Bridge Advisory Council are:

Carlo Castronovo, owner, Giuseppe’s Pizza
Patrick D’Onofrio, detective, Old Bridge Township Police
June Dungee, commissioner, Old Bridge Housing Authority
Kelly Ellis-Foster, board member, Old Bridge Township Board of Education
Amanda Giuliano, director of marketing and outreach, Sayre Woods Bible Church
Kathleen Hoeker, assistant superintendent, Old Bridge Public Schools
Matt Mercurio, director of parks and recreation, Old Bridge Township
Freddy Rojas, banking center manager, Provident Bank
Robert Verney, Jr., chief of fire administration, Old Bridge Township, District 3
Robert Weiss, Jr., retired captain, Old Bridge Police Department

Azzarello said he looks forward to collaborating with the volunteer council to “advocate for the Y and raise support and awareness for the wide array of vital services that the Y provides to people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds in our Old Bridge community.”

As a charitable organization, the Y offers financial assistance for membership and program services on a needs-based sliding scale, based on family size and income. The assistance is made possible by contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, and government grants.

The Old Bridge Family YMCA, located at 1 Mannino Drive, opened in 2009. The 31,500-square-foot facility features an eight-lane swimming pool, cardio fitness workout area, aerobic wellness studio, and a full-size gymnasium. In addition to an array of health and fitness programs, the Y hosts summer camp, provides after school child care in area schools and therapeutic counseling for people of all ages.

During the pandemic, the Y supported the community with food distribution, emergency child care, blood drives and COVID vaccines. “The YMCA is always here to meet the needs of our community and we are grateful for the volunteers who help us deliver our mission,” Goganzer said.








Photo Caption: Former Old Bridge Mayor Russell Azzarello is chairperson of the new YMCA Old Bridge Advisory Council.

About YMCA of Greater Monmouth County
YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is here for all – to empower youth and teens, improve health and strengthen community. A leading nonprofit charity, the Y unites 36,000 people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds. During the pandemic, we responded to vital community needs, providing more than $735,000 in relief services. Our life-changing programs and services are anchored in 10 communities: health and wellness facilities in Freehold Township, Old Bridge and Red Bank; outdoor day camps in Millstone and Wall; a community center in Freehold Borough; counseling and social service centers in Eatontown, Matawan and Middletown; childcare centers in Freehold Township, Matawan and Red Bank; and integrated in nearly 100 schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties. We’re based in Shrewsbury, NJ. Learn more at