MAY 2019 – The Summit Area YMCA held its Annual Celebration on May 30, 2019 to honor key community partners who continually dedicate their time and resources in partnering with the Y to make lives better in the community each and every day. The Corporate Partnership Award was presented to Capital Group, the Strategic Partnership Award presented to the Summit Area Public Foundation, and the Shuart Reed Memorial Award presented to the Other Fellow First Foundation.
Nearly 100 supporters, volunteers, staff, community leaders and partners were in attendance. “We have over 50 active partnerships with our association right now,” said Paul Kieltyka, President and CEO of the Summit Area YMCA. “We strongly believe that it’s our community partners that allow us to have the impact and positive difference that we do every single day.”
Paul welcomed the attendees and thanked them for helping the Y continue its mission of nurturing youth development, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. He invited the group to join him in a moment of silence to honor the recent passing of Teresa Mendez, a 2017 Shuart Reed Memorial Award recipient and integral member of the Summit Area YMCA’s Board of Trustees whose caring and passion for youth development guided and spearheaded the Y’s ability to advocate for not only youth but for the underserved.
Continuing with his welcome, Paul gave a special thanks to all who support the annual fundraising campaign which, he explained, allows our Y to keep its promise to the community made over 130 years ago to have our facilities and programs available to everyone, regardless of circumstance. With the community in attendance, the President and CEO also spoke of the culture of safety that the Summit Area YMCA lives and breathes by with a focus on the belief of “See Something, Say Something, Do Something” and urging our partners and leaders to do the same.
“In our society, we have an obligation as a YMCA, as a Movement, to protect our children. We must do everything, everything in our power and our ability to protect our children. We at the Y take that role most seriously. We will continue to train our staff, to work with our staff, to audit our staff, to challenge our staff and tonight I ask you, the community to do the same. This is not just a staff problem. We need all eyes on everybody making sure that we remain that safe space for children at all times...We not only need your help to enforce this culture of safety, but it’s something we’re very proud of as an organization. You should know that this Summit Area YMCA’s number one priority is protecting our children and ensuring they have a bigger and brighter future.”
Attendees also saw updates on the construction progress of the new Berkeley Heights YMCA and Community Pool on Locust Avenue, which will create opportunities to collaborate with local organizations and partners, serve more children, families and seniors. The Y is also planning for substantial capital improvements to the Summit Area YMCA’s historic building in downtown Summit. In addition to providing proper space to deliver the best in health and wellness programming, the capital improvements will ensure a sustainable future for the Summit YMCA to best meet the needs of members and the community at large.
Before each award was presented, the program included presentations dedicated to the Summit Area YMCA’s three pillars of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Tiffany Escott, Executive Director of the Berkeley Heights YMCA spoke about the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program, Joyce Klimaski, Executive Director of The Learning Circle YMCA spoke of quality, affordable childcare and the extensive curriculum available at The Learning Circle YMCA, while Terri Clinton, Executive Director of the Summit YMCA presented an overview of the Healthy Hearts & Cardiac Rehabilitation Maintenance Program at the Y.
Robert Radest, the Chair of the Summit YMCA’s Advisory Committee and member of the Y’s Capital Campaign Committee, presented the 2019 Corporate Partnership Award to Norman Sanyour of Capital Group. This award honors an outstanding business for their partnership in fulfilling the Y’s mission to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn, grown and thrive. As Senior Vice President and Investment Counselor at Capital Group, Norman Sanyour is also a member of the Summit Area YMCA Board of Trustees.
In receiving the award on behalf of Capital Group, Norman spoke of how the partnership began and how the Y was important to him, his family and Capital Group. From being involved in exercise at the Y facility to increased participation in various programs like Youth Soccer, Youth Basketball, Special Events, Family Swim, Adventure Guides and more, the breadth and depth of the Y’s positive impact has spurred him and Capital Group to give back in supporting the Y’s mission help to continue its meaningful work in the community.
The Capital Group’s investment in the Y has provided free programs for the underserved, including youth and teens with diverse abilities, cancer survivors and food-insecure families. The Capital Group was also the Platinum Sponsorship of the 2018 LOL Live Auction and Comedy event, the Summit Area YMCA’s signature fundraising event to raise funds for these and other important programs.
Following the Corporate Partnership Award, Yon Cho, Summit Area YMCA Trustee, presented the 2019 Strategic Partnership Award to the Summit Area Public Foundation (SAPF). For many years, SAPF has partnered with the Y in providing working families with child care tuition assistance at The Learning Circle YMCA (TLC YMCA). Every day, working parents can take comfort in knowing their children are learning, happy and thriving while in our care at TLC YMCA. Most recently, SAPF awarded The Learning Circle YMCA with funds to transform the preschool Outdoor Classroom to ensure recreation and outdoor learning is inclusive, explorative and accessible year-round for children of all abilities.
“Our partnership with the Summit Area YMCA is a very important one because it taps into our shared value of affordable childcare. In the past 5 years alone, we have granted $134,000 to the YMCA to support financial assistance for families in need enrolled at The Learning Circle YMCA,” said Julie Keenan, President of SAPF. “We know the Summit Area Y is the hub of the community. I’m probably one of many people in the room who relied on the Y for a warm shower and an outlet after Hurricane Sandy. Simply put, the Y is a powerful convener. You bring groups together to bring good to the community. SAPF is thrilled to accept this award and so very proud to partners with the Summit Area YMCA. Thank you for all you do for the community.”
SAPF was also the catalyst for the formation of the Summit Hunger Coalition, a group of local nonprofits working together to address food insecurity in Summit. The Y is grateful to SAPF for these and other important initiatives in the community that address local needs and make a difference in the lives of our neighbors. Accepting the award on behalf of SAPF was Julie Keenan, President of the Foundation.
Summit Area YMCA’s Trustee, Tom Hall, presented the 2019 Shuart Reed Memorial Award to the Other Fellow First Foundation. The Shuart Reed Memorial Award is awarded in grateful memory of Shuart Reed, General Secretary of the Summit Area YMCA, 1935-1943. It is given to those who exemplify his commitment to the betterment of our community. Accepting the award on behalf of the Other Fellow First Foundation was the Foundation’s President and Co-Founder, T. Bret Haire. Under the leadership of T. Brett Haire, Jim Greberis (Co- founder), Jordan Glatt, David Haire and Neale Trangucci, the Other Fellow First Foundation exists to help and comfort New Jersey families in distress. In addition to years of loyal and generous support of the Summit Area YMCA’s Annual Campaign, which fulfills the overall mission of the Y, the Foundation made a transformative investment in the Y during the Summit New Year’s Eve apartment fire in 2018. Because of the Foundation, victims of the fire had immediate resources to help them return to a semblance of normalcy and replace their material possessions. The Y is grateful to the Other Fellow First Foundation for their tremendous and continuous investment in our community.
“We’re a very small foundation with a very simple mission. We think of ourselves of a quiet community shock absorber. There’s only 5 of us, we don’t have a grants committee. Our board meetings are short, typically at the Summit Diner, and it doesn’t take us very long to address a community need. Having limited resources keeps us hungry, flexible and creative,” said T. Bret Haire, Other Fellow First Foundation President. “We’re small, we mainly raise money, so we need partners who are good with helping people and organizations like Summit Tap and the Y fit the bill...We have been exceptionally inspired by the powerful and positive role modeling that you and your organization provide our community. Following your shadow, we work very hard to keep the unity in community.”
We are proud to partner with organizations such as Capital Group, Summit Area Public Foundation and The Other Fellow First Foundation to not only strengthen the foundations and bonds of our community, but to create lasting and meaningful change.
Get involved with the Y by becoming a Corporate Wellness Member! More information at www.thesay.org/corpwellness
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.