The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

YMCA thanks donors, supporters

Plainfield's YMCA has served the community for more than a hundred years.
Board members and staff of the Plainfield Area YMCA hosted a thank you reception for donors and supporters this past Monday evening at the home of board member Bobby Gregory and his wife Jennifer.

Executive Director Ravenell Williams and board president Kieran Anderson tooks turns highlighting the agency's programs and the growing financial response from members of the community.

In the three years since Williams assumed day-to-day leadership, financial gifts as a result of board outreach increased from $14,000 in the first year to $77,000 as of September this year. This is heartening since urban Y's such as Plainfield's find themselves in competition with larger and better financed suburban Y's as well as commercial gyms and wellness centers.

The Plainfield Y prides itself on sticking to some of the oldest YMCA values -- including services geared to strengthen families in the Y's service area -- as well as innovative programs meeting new needs.

The Plainfield Y is rare today to be found offering residential services to men, a traditional program that has fallen by the wayside in many places. The Y also offers shelter services to Plainfield's homeless population, many of whom are families in need of shelter while trying to get their lives back together after dealing with issues such as fires or eviction.

Youngsters flock to the Y's afterschool program, and the foster care outreach works to find families willing to be foster parents to the many kids who need a stable, nurturing environment.

Plainfielders will have an opportunity to offer further support for the Plainfield Y and its programs through the Send-a-Kid-to-Camp Bike Ride set for Sunday, October 7. The ride will start and end at Library Park, where there will be food, vendors and entertainment at the ride's end. For more information, call the Plainfield YMCA at (908) 756-6060, visit the YMCA website here, or download the Bike Ride flyer here.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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