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New Jersey Governors Named as YMCA Healthy Living and Social Responsibility Champions; Sydney Stavraka Named as Madison Area YMCA’s Volunteer of the Year


Former New Jersey Governors Thomas H. Kean and Richard J. Codey received the 2017 YMCA New Jersey State Alliance top leadership awards. Sydney Stavraka, 13, of Florham Park was the Madison Area YMCA’s recipient of the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance 2017 Youth Volunteer of the Year award.


With his wife Mary Jo Codey, Gov. Codey, who currently serves as state senator, received the Y’s Social Responsibility Champion award for his years of leadership in advancing mental health services, including launching a statewide postpartum depression awareness campaign and establishing The Codey Fund for Mental Health. Gov. Kean received the Y’s Healthy Living Champion award in recognition of his decades of work to improve the health of communities throughout the state, including his leadership within the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy.


“The YMCA is honored to recognize these two powerful leaders for their decades of enduring service in elected office, in business and in philanthropy to improve the health and wellbeing of millions of people in communities across our state,” Madison Area YMCA President & CEO Diane Mann.

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The New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, comprised of 37 YMCAs, annually celebrates the champions of New Jersey YMCAs and honors those who have helped strengthen their communities through their work in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each YMCA puts forth its Youth Volunteer of the Year to be recognized.


The Madison Area YMCA’s 2017 Youth Volunteer of the Year, Sydney Stavraka, a Ridgedale Middle School student, volunteered at the Madison Area YMCA in Kids Central, the performing arts department, at Healthy Kids Day in the spring and with the Y’s Togetherhood committee. She was selected to receive the award from hundreds of volunteers. Sydney shared that she knew she wanted to a part of the Madison Area YMCA’s volunteer program, especially in the performing arts department. She has been a participant in the Y’s dance, gymnastics and swimming programs.


“Sydney is a role model for the children that she interacts with,” said Ms. Mann. “We are grateful for Sydney’s dedication to our Y’s focus on youth development and social responsibility.”


The Madison Area YMCA is a 501(c)(3) cause-driven charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. All are welcome to be enriched by Y membership, programming, community wellness and health-enhancing programs, regardless of ability to pay. Generous donations to the Madison Area YMCA’s Annual Fund make it possible for everyone in our community to experience the Y.

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