MADISON, NJ - In 1962, the Madison YMCA opened at its current location on Kings Road and today they are standing strong and a staple in the community. On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13, they held a free barbeque to celebrate this special 50-year anniversary.
Many families and kids flocked to the YMCA to chow down on hotdogs and burgers and relax on a chilly Saturday afternoon. Some were new members and others have belonged for years, but it seemed everyone had a great time. Mayor Bob Conley, who is also the Vice President of Operations at the YMCA, was busy grilling the food.
Lynn Schaeber, who has been the Performing Arts Coordinator at the “Y” for a year, said she has really enjoyed her time there. After working overseas for several years, she and her family recently moved back and she knew the YMCA would be a perfect fit. With a place for her kids to go and for her to teach, what more could she want, she said.
“I have one of the best jobs in the world because I get to see smiling faces every day and I know that I’m part of the reason that they’re smiling,” she said.
Schaeber teaches children and adults in pre-ballet, musical theater, modern dance and hip hop. Because of the friendly and warm atmosphere at the YMCA, she and her family have made many friends and participate in numerous activities, as well.
Two families enjoying the festivities, the Kulps and the Patels, both moved from Manhattan. They have bonded and become close since joining the YMCA, Jen Kulp said. Her three sons take swimming, gymnastics and sports classes and really enjoy them, she said.
“We joined because it’s a family place,” Kulp said. “We feel it’s clean, fun and is a good place to spend our Saturday mornings.”
Patel has one child and has been a member for seven years. Belonging to the “Y” has a special meaning for her, because growing up, the YMCA was very helpful to her family, she said.
“As a family, we think they are great for the community,” Patel said. “It’s an enriching place. There’s so much to do. You can get involved as much as you want.”
Kevin Rourke, who has been a member for 15 years, was at Saturday's anniversary with his wife and two young sons, Liam and Kieran. They love the YMCA and use it quite often for sports, gymnastics and swimming classes. "It’s really a fun and fantastic place," he said.