More than $510,000 given back to the community in 2013

SUMMIT, NJ – On Saturday afternoon, March 1, the Summit Area YMCA held its 2014 Annual Campaign Kick-Off Celebration. At the event, which attracted Y members, volunteers, donors and staff, the Board of Directors acknowledged Y staff for contributing over $74,000 to the 2014 Annual Campaign. The staff donations amount to a 16% increase over the previous year and the most the staff has ever given, which speaks to their belief in the Y’s mission to build a stronger community. In total, 373 staff, or 90%, contributed to the 2014 campaign and the average staff gift is $189. Additionally, 123 staffers are 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 $551,000, 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 Summit Area 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.

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“The Y’s annual campaign is so important to the community. By donating and volunteering, the campaign gives everyone an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of local individuals and families, which is an uplifting experience that benefits all. I love educating others about the Y and knowing that I am making a positive difference in the community,” mentioned Kevin Hill, volunteer and General Chair of the Summit Area YMCA 2014 Annual Campaign. “It is the incredible generosity of those who donate to the campaign that allows the Y to open its doors to everyone… regardless of their ability to pay. Providing an opportunity for each person to grow in spirit, mind and body at the Y is wonderful thing.”

The Summit Area 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 Kevin Hill as General Chair of the 2014 Annual Campaign, Ann Garrity as the Berkeley Heights YMCA Branch Chair, Peter Loeser as the Summit YMCA Branch Chair, and Teresa Mendez as The Learning Circle YMCA Branch Chair.

“We are so grateful to our volunteers for their leadership and contributions to our Annual Campaign. They help ensure the Y’s viability and sustainability so we can continue to offer programs and services that are open to all,” commented Paul Kieltyka, President and CEO of the Summit Area YMCA. “Our volunteers represent nearly every cross section of the communities we serve and, by sharing their Y stories, they are true ambassadors of our Y who help everyone understand that we are so much more than a fitness center. Through their donations to our Annual Campaign, our staff and volunteers lead by example in giving of their time, talent and treasure to advance the Y’s mission of building a stronger community.”

Last year, the Summit Area YMCA’s Annual Campaign providing over $510,000 in direct financial assistance to qualifying individuals and families who live locally. Additionally, over $685,000 was provided in support of mission-based programs and services that benefit the community, such as LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA – a program to help cancer survivors begin the journey to recovery; Achievers – a program for teens who are seeking guidance in pursuing higher education; and the 7th Grade Membership Initiative to encourage young teens to make healthy life choices at a time when they are exposed to opportunities to engage in risk behaviors.

The theme of the Y’s 2014 campaign is “Building Strong Communities”, 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 Lucria Ortiz, Annual Campaign Director, at or 908.273.3330 ext. 3219. To make a gift to the Y’s Annual Campaign, please visit and click the GIVE link.

About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading charitable 501(c)3 organizations. Our programs and services are open to all through our financial assistance programs made possible through the generosity of our members, donors and partners. To help us help others, make your tax-deductible donation today at