BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Valley YMCAs and the Somerset Hills YMCAs have announced that, as of Jan. 1, 2015, the two organizations will join together to form one YMCA association called the Somerset County YMCA.

The combined association, according to a release, will have five branches that will serve the communities of Basking Ridge, Bedminster, Bernardsville, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Bridgewater, Far Hills, Franklin, Green Brook, Hillsborough, Manville, Montgomery, Peapack-Gladstone, Raritan, Somerville, South Bound Brook and Warren.

According to the release, the announcement was the result of one year of analysis and planning. In February, the YMCA organizations entered into an agreement to share management resources.

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The boards of the two organizations, the release said, then decided to work toward a permanent unification.

There was a more in-depth review done by a task force of 12 representing the organizations, and it was recommended that they form one association.

The members of the task force were Jody D’Agostini, Joseph Del Buono, Tim Foley, Jim Gibson, Jeff Hockenbury, Mark Irwin, Morgan McLachlan, Tom Moschello, Peter Olsen, Jay Perantoni, Paul Ramseur and Andrea Thorne.

David M. Carcieri will be the CEO of the new association.

“We are thrilled to be able to move forward as one, united association,” Carcieri said in the release. “I am grateful to our board chairs, Jody D’Agostini and Andrea Thorne, for their belief in and passion for the Y’s cause. They whole-heartedly embrace the Y’s mission and understand that, together, we have an opportunity to make an even greater impact on the communities we serve.”

Since 2000, the release said, an increasing number of YMCAs across the country have seen success through mergers.

“We believe that there is abundant potential for operating as one association,” D’Agostini said in the release. “The need in the community for YMCA services has never been greater. The goal of joining together as one association is to better meet community needs and serve individuals and families through a shared mission focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”

For more information on the Somerset Hills YMCA, call 908-766-7898, or visit somersethillsymca.org.

For more information on the Somerset Valley YMCA, call 908-722-4567, or visit ymcasomersetvalley.org.