The following is from the South Mountain YMCA:
In the spirit of `The Greatest Show on Earth,’ the South Mountain YMCA last week took center ring to kick off its six-week, circus-themed annual campaign to raise $175,000 for families and individuals in need.
“Lasting personal and social change can only happen when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors,’’ South Mountain YMCA Executive Director James Goodger said at the kick-off event, held at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover.
“Unemployment and poverty, chronic disease, and educational disparities drag down our communities, and it is up to us to band together and create solutions to these societal problems,’’ added Richard K. Gorab, president and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges.
The South Mountain Y is one of six branches of the Metro YMCA, the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey serving more than 35,000 individuals. Together, the South Mountain Y, East Orange Y, Fairview Lake YMCA Camps, Sussex County Y, Wayne Y, and West Essex Y strengthen communities by nurturing children’s potential, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility.
The Metro Y this year set a fundraising goal of $1.1 million to provide financial assistance.
“We want to ensure everybody, no matter their circumstances, has the opportunity to live a more healthy, confident and secure life,’’ Metro Y Chief Development Officer Lisa Kelly said.
The Y not only provides programs for children, adults and seniors to stay active and socialize, it develops innovative programs to tackle obesity, bring awareness to child sexual abuse prevention, address the achievement gap, provide quality child care, and face other community challenges, Kelly said.
The Metro YMCA has earned the trust of the communities it serves. Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator, has identified the Metro Y as one of the top-performing nonprofit in the U.S. Last month, Charity Navigator awarded the Metro Y its top rating for the fifth year straight in recognition of the organization’s sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only 6 percent of charities have achieved that standing.
“We know our generous supporters expect their donations to be used prudently to further our mission,’’ Kelly said. “We are proud to be recognized as careful stewards of that generosity so together we can make impactful, enduring improvements in our communities.”
ABOUT THE Y
Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey, serving more than 35,000 individuals and providing more than $1.2 million in financial assistance each year. Its six YMCAs, located in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne, are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility. They offer an array of programs that build spirit, mind and body for people of all ages and all circumstances.