Education

Summit Area YMCA Holds 125th Anniversary Party at Summer Camp

SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Area YMCA 125th Anniversary Party, held at Summer Camp on Friday July 29, is one birthday that everyone can celebrate. When the celebration kicked off at the Watchung Reservation at 12:00 pm, campers, counselors, and administrators alike were in full party mode as they ate a barbeque lunch, had some cake, and danced to favorites like the “Cupid Shuffle.”

The 200 children in the day camp, which is the largest camp offered by the YMCA, started out their party by doing a scavenger hunt in 12.5 minutes for 125 items, commemorating the 125th anniversary. On the list were items such as pokemon cards, spider-man backpacks, and dogs.

As the day went on, the kids danced with their counselors in their matching tie-dye t-shirts and got a chance to dunk their counselors in a dunk tank, as well as play in a jumping castle.

Sign Up for E-News

Julie Kinloch, Camp Program Director, said that in the three years that she has been a part of the YMCA Summer Camp this is the largest party yet.

The party was held as part of the "YMCA 125 Years…Our Story and Yours Campaign."

Darrell Johnson, President and CEO of the Summit Area YMCA, said that one story that sticks out to him is when a two-year old girl named Maria came to the Y not being able to speak any English. By the time she was five, she had learned it so well that she was mentoring three-year-olds and teaching them English.

Patty Facchinei, Summit Area YMCA Financial Advisor, said that her son’s story began when he was being coached for football at the Y back in middle school. “Now, my son coaches the Summit 7th grade Football, and it’s pretty amazing that he is following in his mentor’s footsteps,” she said.

In working as a financial advisor, Facchinei helps to make the Y and its affiliated camps affordable for all families, since the Y has a strict open-door policy. She said, “I love it when people come back to me telling me that I changed their lives by making it more affordable for them to go to the Y. People give me thank-you cards and kiss my hands.”

Kinloch said that this open door policy is what makes the Y so special. “Through the Strong Kids Campaign, no one is denied,” she said. “We cater to families because we want them to be here.”

For the yearlong campaign, the YMCA is trying to focus more on youth development programs. Their goal is to raise an additional 2 million dollars added to their current $5.2 million so that they can create more funds for their Endowment Campaign, which has been going on for several years. They also wish to add on to their Learning Center for infants, since there is currently a waiting list. The YMCA also wants to be able to give an additional $500,000 out in scholarships.

Amanda Heckmann, who is eight-years-old and has been a part of the Y for three years, said, “I don’t believe the Y is 125 years old!”

Johnson said that the fact the Y is now 125 not only makes him proud but he feels the whole community should be very proud as well since it was the members of the community who were able to keep the Y thriving for this long.

In New Jersey, there are about 40 YMCAs, but there are only three or four that are older than the Summit Area Y.

“The YMCA has the ability to adapt to each community,” he said. “Since they have responded to each individual need on a community-by-community basis, they have been able to last this long.”

In addition to the Summer Camp 125th Anniversary Party, the Summit Area YMCA also plans on holding a community picnic on September 24th and a 5k road race in October.

As a grand finale for the campaign, the YMCA plans on holding an Anniversary Gala event on November 5th with 300 expected guests. There will be an online auction before the event and a live auction during the gala.

“The YMCA is one of the largest social services in the country, and there are lots of different ways to help with families, children, and the elderly. It allows people to leave the world a better place than they found it,” said Johnson.

Heckmann said, “I love, love, love the Y!”

And for good reason: the YMCA has been one of the leading non-profit organizations in the Summit area since its introduction to the community in 1886.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

I will draw on my experience to deliver a great future for Berkeley Heights

May 22, 2018

I am impressed with the day-to-day leadership of our Mayor and Town Council and I hope to help them continue to do great work. As I have been doing my research since deciding to run for a seat on our Town Council, I have learned a few things about all the work that has been happening in recent years.  For example, while plans for the Stratton House development were recently announced, our ...

Christopher Rinaldi for Town Council - Leadership, Judgement, Experience

My name is Christopher Rinaldi.  As a long-time member of the Republican Party, I am running in the Republican Primary on June 5th for Township Council and Republican Municipal Committee of Berkeley Heights.

As a follow-up to my Candidate Statements from the last two weeks, I would like to share with you a few areas of direct work experience garnered over the past 25 years that I believe ...

Redevelopment: Taking the First Step Together While Protecting Berkeley Heights

Redevelopment. It’s something that takes careful planning, foresight, the ability to negotiate for the most favorable outcome, and, of course, patience. I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to reach all of these milestones. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, we as a community will take the first step together in the culmination of these efforts, when the ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

The Ducks Are Here

May 22, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Just arrived. Over four thousand little yellow rubber duckies, ready to swim their little webbed feet off for their adoptive “parents.”

Ducky adoption tickets are just $5 each and available throughout Berkeley Heights oAm Bagel, 7-Eleven, Stop n/ Shop, and out front of our town post office to find and adopt as many duckies as you’d like.

Field Hockey Is On the Rise in Berkeley Heights and Mountainside; Fall Registration Open

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Berkeley Heights PAL has opened registration for Fall 5/6 and 7/8 travel field hockey teams, as well as a second through fourth grade Fall clinic and a Summer clinic for current second through eighth graders.   Visit the PAL website, www.bhpal.org, to register. Please indicate if you need to borrow a stick.

The PAL Field Hockey program ...

Congressman Lance To Hold Annual Service Academy Information Fair

FLEMINGTON, NJ – Congressman Leonard Lance, U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, announced he will hold his annual Service Academy Information Fair for high school students.

"I look forward to the Service Academy Information Fair every year and meeting the talented and poised young leaders from our district,” said Congressman Lance.

The ...

Host an International Exchange Student

EF High School Exchange Year announces annual search for student exchange host families in communities across the New Jersey

EF High School Exchange Year—a division of EF Education First, the World Leader in International Education—has kicked off its annual nationwide search for caring host families to welcome exchange students into their homes. Last year EF connected over 3,000 ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c2872dd7b6bba99b4cf7_ducky_drop

Wed, May 23, 12:00 PM

Passaic River Park, Berkeley Heights

The Ducks Are Here

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Thu, May 24, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Fri, May 25, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale

Giving Back Other

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...