BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Tiffany Escott, Director of the Berkeley Heights YMCA, engaged the audience of 30 businesses and community leaders to play a fun quiz game of "How well do you know the YMCA?" at this month's Suburban Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast in Berkeley Heights.

Every month, the Berkeley Heights breakfast sponsor has the opportunity to present to the audience of local businesses. While most provide their summary of who they are and who their target customers are, that would be a difficult task when speaking about the YMCA. Talking about all the services offered by the YMCA would be impossible in the allotted time-frame. So, Escott engaged the audience with questions to better inform them of the hidden treasures offered by the Berkeley Heights YMCA. The questions were all answered by audience members and expanded upon by Escott, who in return would let each participant select a prize that consisted of YMCA gear .

For those that were unfamiliar of all the services provided by the Berkeley Heights YMCA, they left better informed. 

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The Berkeley Heights YMCA is a part of the Summit Area YMCA. The Summit Area YMCA has been in the community since 1886. We currently serve 8 communities: Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Gillette, Stirling, Summit, Millburn, Short Hills, and Springfield. The Berkeley Heights YMCA moved into town in 1995.

The Berkeley Heights YMCA is a non-profit charitable organization. Each year our association impacts more than 2,500 individuals and families. Over 50 percent are children. We give out financial assistance for Child Care, Camp and memberships. We are able to help families during their time of need. They may be struggling financial because of a job loss, health issues, families situations and more. We also offer free programming such as 7th Grade initiative.  All 7thgraders in our community receive a free membership for the school year. These students can come in to learn the proper way of working out and participate in social events with other students. We work with students with special needs from the High schools in Berkeley Heights as well as New Providence with a free program. These students come to the YMCA during the week to learn job skills that they can use once they complete school. We take them through an interview phase as well to help them prepare for future jobs. These students also participate in social events.

LiveStrong at the YMCA started 5 years ago. The Berkeley Heights YMCA has helped 75 adults and teens through a difficult time in their life while they are dealing with the treatment of cancer. We have had participants as young as 15 to 85. This free program has made a difference in their lives. Check out the article on TAPInto about Laurie Liming, who is currently going through our LiveStrong program.

The Berkeley Heights YMCA serves over 250 children in our Child Care Programs. We oversee programs at five offsite locations; New Providence Schools (Roberts and Salt Brook) and Berkeley Heights (Hughes, Mt. Park and Woodruff).  We also have child care at the YMCA.  We offer Before Care, Preschool, Kinderwrap, and After Care. Our program runs from 7a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Children in our programs are able to do homework, participate in activities such as sports, games, and STEAM activities. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). We also offer Holiday care when the schools are on vacation.  Children can come to the Y so that their parents can work.

The Mother’s Day 5K is our largest fundraisers in Berkeley Heights. We will be celebrating our 15th Mother’s Day 5k on Sunday, May 14, 2017.  We get close to 1,000 participants each year. All of the money we raise goes towards our LiveStrong program. We have a lot of families who do the run together. Many participants will go to the local businesses in town for breakfast or last minute gifts. We had the Gov. Livingston Interact club help last year as well as Boy Scouts, Rotary and other organizations. Such a great community event. Many local business come together to sponsor the race.

The Suburban Chamber of Commerce meets monthly in Berkeley Heights in addition to their monthly First Friday breakfast meetings at the Grand Summit Hotel and the Wine Down Wednesday events hosted by Chamber members. To learn more about the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, visit their website for their scheduled events and gift certificate program to keep it local and support the participating businesses.

~ A vibrant business district builds stronger communities. 

Editor's Note: The Berkeley Heights YMCA is an advertiser with TAPinto Berkeley Heights. To learn more about advertising with TAPinto contact bpeer@tapinto.net or (908)230-5760.