SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit YMCA honored the volunteers who contribute the organization’s success during its annual celebration Wednesday night.
The event, held at Twin Maples, recognized two volunteers from each of the YMCA’s area branches, and included the awarding of the prestigious Shuart Reed Memorial Award. This year, that award went to Kevin Cummings, president and chief executive officer of Investors Bank.
“This is our most prestigious award,” said Darrell Johnson, president and CEO of the Summit Area YMCA. “We don’t give it out every year, only when we have someone who is very deserving. Kevin has provided not just great financial support but he’s been a true leader in corporate responsibility. He established a model of corporate responsibility and giving back that really works. In my job, I meet a lot of corporate leaders, but there are none out there better than Kevin.”
Cummings said he’s honored to be given the award named for Shuart Reed, the longtime general secretary of the Summit Area YMCA, known for his patient, understanding nature.
“He was a man for the community, and a man for others,” Cummings said. “When I look at the list of past recipients for this award, I’m honored to be among them.”
Cumming said the Investors Bank Foundation was started in 2005 as a way to help the bank and its employees give back to the communities in which they live and work. In Summit, the foundation sponsored the YMCA’s 125th Anniversary Gala in 2011 and the Laugh Out Loud Comedy event in 2012. Both events raise funds to support essential YMCA programs and services.
Also at the event, Jeanne-Marie Hamilton-Moore of Glen Ridge High School Class of 2013 was named Youth of the Year. Helena Jones, a senior at Columbia High School in Maplewood, and Natasha Smith, a 2013 graduate of Summit High School, were named Graduating Achievers.
Representatives from each branch of the Summit Area YMCA honored their volunteers, including the Mission Advancement Volunteer and the Living Our Cause Volunteer. The Mission Advancement Volunteer plays a lead role in advancing the Y mission within the community by sharing information about Y initiatives with other community leaders and helps to broker strategic partnerships and collaborations to meet community needs. The Living Our Cause volunteer participates in a leadership capacity by serving as a member of a branch board, board committee or special event planning committee, and acts as a storyteller to help raise funds to support the Y.
The 2013 Volunteers of the Year were:
Berkeley Heights YMCA – Peter Marchetta, Mission Advancement volunteer; and Ann Garrity, Living Our Cause volunteer.
The Learning Circle YMCA – Teresa Mendez, Mission Advancement volunteer; and Michael Yesenko, Living Our Cause volunteer.
Summit YMCA – Kevin Hill, Mission Advancement volunteer; and Stephanie Kramer, Living Our Cause volunteer.