MADISON, NJ - The F.M. Kirby Foundation has awarded the Madison Area YMCA a major grant of $350,000 to be used for future capital improvement projects.

In awarding the grant, the foundation shared its intention that the gift serve to motivate additional donors to support the Y’s philanthropic mission.

“This very significant grant is a gift to our whole community,” said Madison Area YMCA President and Chief Executive Officer Diane Mann. “It opens new pathways for the Madison Area YMCA’s future advancement and makes our continued growth of philanthropy and partnerships more important than ever. With this gift as a strong foundation, we hope that more donors will be inspired to help advance our organizational goals through philanthropy.”

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Kirby Foundation President S. Dillard Kirby explained that the grant is intended to expand the Y’s philanthropy program in new ways. “We are very pleased to make this grant at this time based on our long partnership with the Madison Area Y, the strength of the current leadership and recognition of the many facility improvements in recent years,” Kirby said. “As the Y continues to expand programmatically, we hope our support will encourage others to support further capital needs at the Y that are best financed by the community, for the community."

The Y’s philanthropy program is based on establishing partnerships and collaborations with corporations, government and other not-for-profits to optimize resource utilization. It also is based on continuing to engage new donors and supporters to expand programming and access for all.

Project Community Pride of the Madison Area YMCA is a youth, teen and family counseling service that was established as a Y program in August in partnership with the school districts and boroughs of Chatham, Florham Park and Madison.

The Quest Diagnostics-Madison Area YMCA Community Wellness Initiative launched in 2014 provided no-cost access to essential diagnostic and wellness information and seeks to positively impact the wellness of the community. A full-scale remodeling and reconstruction of the lower level locker rooms at the Y’s Kings Road Center, adding family changing areas and enhanced lobby gathering spaces, was completed in May 2014.

Four LIVESTRONG at the YMCA cancer survivor classes graduated and the “Talking Tots” preschool language development program and Enhance®Fitness community-based senior fitness and arthritis management programs also launched last year. To continue expanding the Y’s wellness and health programming, a new Diabetes Prevention Program will launch in 2015.