On Wednesday evening, February 26, the Somerset Hills YMCA held its Annual Meeting of Members where the Y officially kicked off the 2014 Annual Campaign. At the event, which attracted Y members, volunteers, donors and staff, the Board of Directors acknowledged Y staff for contributing over $32,000 to the 2014 Annual Campaign. This amount is the most the staff has ever given, which speaks to their belief in the Y’s mission to build a stronger community. In total, 133 staff contributed to the campaign. The average staff gift to the 2014 campaign is $241, an increase of 79% over the previous year. Additionally, 27 staffers became charter members of the “Hourly Club” where staff gives back one hour of their time per pay check to the campaign.
The overall fundraising goal of the 2014 campaign is to raise a total of $400,000, which will support the Y’s ability to provide financial assistance to those in our community who are in need. As a cause-driven organization, the Y believes that everyone, regardless of income, age or background, deserves the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. To that end, the Somerset Hills YMCA provides scholarships to individuals and families who struggle financially, and provides low cost or free programs at the Y that address community needs. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y makes a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and families to build a healthier and more connected community.
Dr. Gail Granowitz, volunteer co-chair of the campaign, spoke about the impact the Y makes every day in the lives of others in the community and invited the crowd to join her in making a difference by volunteering and donating to the Y. “The Y is committed to its community, period. It is a beautiful ‘gym and swim’, but it is so much more than just that. Its passion lies in supporting its neighbors, offering everyone from every background an opportunity to be a part of a caring and genuine community. Last year, the Y gave back nearly double the amount that it raised in donations. There aren’t many charities like that!”
The Somerset Hills YMCA is grateful to all dedicated volunteers who contribute to the Annual Campaign, in particular, those who have taken leadership roles for the various campaign divisions, including Mark Irwin as Overall Campaign Chair, Jody D’Agostini as Board Giving Chair, Dr. Gail Granowitz as Member Division Chair, and Bob Raymar, Mike Osterman and Fox Stoddard as Community Advisory Board Giving and Getting Co-Chairs.
“Volunteers are the soul of our organization,” commented David M. Carcieri. “We have wonderful Annual Campaign volunteers who are Y ambassadors and inspire others to give back by sharing stories about the many ways in which the Y works to make positive change in community. We would not be able to raise the necessary funds were it not for our volunteers who support this effort.”
Last year, the Somerset Hills YMCA’s Annual Campaign had an impact on more than 500 deserving individuals by providing over $625,000 in direct financial assistance to qualifying individuals and families who live locally. Additionally, over $300,000 was provided in support of mission-based programs and services that benefit the community, such as Saturdays in Motion – a recreational program for children with autism and their families; LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA – a program to help cancer survivors begin the journey to recovery; Achievers – a program for adults with special needs to learn career skills that improve job retention; Y Splash – a low cost program to teach preschool age children water safety and swimming skills; and Carousel Kids – a summer program for children with special needs, to name a few.
The theme of the Y’s 2014 campaign is “The Y. So Much More.”, which highlights stories about people whose lives have been affected by the Y in a meaningful and fulfilling way to demonstrate that the Y is much more than just a fitness center. To volunteer or for more information, contact Kelly Castro, Annual Fund Director, at email@example.com or 908.766.7898 ext. 100. To make a gift to the Y’s Annual Campaign, please visit www.somersethillsymca.org and click GIVE.