A Why The Y Story

October 16, 2018

Being out on the bocce court at the Madison Area YMCA’s annual charity bocce tournament this fall had a special significance for Jim Patterson. The tournament, which raises funds for the Y’s paths to wellness programming, includes LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. Jim knows LIVESTRONG well. “Beautiful Beth” ...

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MADISON, NJ - Tony Ottino is a cancer survivor. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for sarcoma, a rare cancer, at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Tony’s oncologist recommended the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program. At first, Tony didn’t want to do it—he had been through so much; but, he recognized ...

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“LIVESTRONG at the YMCA made me see my power,” says cancer survivor Pam Cucco. “It was a game changer. I immediately made use of the program at the Madison Area YMCA in order to work out—not only to physically rehabilitate but to ‘work out’ all that disappointment, hesitancy and apprehension.” Pam ...

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Six-year-old Emma Khoury is a dancer. She recently performed with her class at the Madison Area YMCA’s School of Performing Arts Year-End performance, “When I Grow Up” that took place at The College of St. Elizabeth’s Annunciation Center. The first grader, who began her journey with dance at the ...

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Sue Ellyn Pagano Huizing, a former Madison Area YMCA gymnastics director who retired from the Y in 2001 was fondly remembered after her passing at a gathering of former Rosettes and coaches at the Madison Area YMCA. Women who had been Rosettes during the 1980s and 90s and coaches came from near ...

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Maryanne Mecca, a yoga instructor who has been part of the Madison Area YMCA staff for the past three years, has had the YMCA in her life since childhood. The Y was also part of her children’s lives growing up and now her grandchildren’s lives. “I love teaching here,” says Maryanne, noting the ...

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“Communication of any kind is crucial for thriving in the world and creating valuable connections with a wide array of people. Through sign language, children can form bonds with adults and other children despite their ability to verbalize at the same developmental level.”—Stephanie ...

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Gwen Lukasavage, 14, has grown up at the Madison Area YMCA. As a 10-month old, she took Mommy & Me swim classes with her mom, Jeanne. As a toddler, she attended the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center’s 2-year-old program followed by pre-K 3, pre-K4 and kindergarten. Kirby holds a special place in the ...

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The Madison Area YMCA has an Hourly Club for staff members. It’s a pretty admirable membership. “Through the Hourly Club, staff members live the Y mission,” says Madison Area YMCA Associate Development Director Leigh Anne Soroka who is the Annual Campaign director. Funds raised during the ...

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Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are days of “joy” each week for Irene Mead. A Madison Area YMCA member for six years, Irene takes the Joy Dance Aerobics class where she comes for an hour and 15 minutes to work out in a place where she feels welcomed and inspired. “Joy is a very focused, ...

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Carole Soder is one of those people that you meet and instantly feel the warmth. You walk away feeling like you’ve known her forever. And, a lot of people in the area probably do know her. She’s been a school counselor in the Chatham public schools for 21 years. Everyone at the Madison Area YMCA ...

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For cancer survivors and people going through cancer, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA can be a vital program for them to get started back on their paths to health and wellness and embrace their new “normal.” Katie Worden and Erin Long, whose families were affected by cancer, understand this concept and ...

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When girls become Rosettes at the Madison Area YMCA they not only become part of the Y’s competitive gymnastics team, they become part of a second family. And when they go off to college and out into the world, they bring with them the skills from the life lessons that they learned through ...

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“I’ve been a Y kid forever,” says Julia Brzozowski, who has assisted teachers in classrooms at the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA since she was 15. Julia knows what the Y and the Kirby Center are about and she loves it. “I attended Kirby for preschool, kindergarten, the ...

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While the customer service floor at Provident Bank on Main Street is buzzing with business on a Fridaymorning, there’s non-banking activity happening in the basement. Six teenagers who are Madison Area YMCA Leader in Training (LIT) are snaking through stacks of cardboard boxes. “Do you think this ...

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“When you don’t work anymore, you need familiar faces,” says Cathy Quinn, a retired nursing home worker, sitting in the Madison Area YMCA’s lobby athletically dressed in black leggings and a beautiful bright coral tank top that matches her lipstick. “I treat the Y like a country club,” says the fit ...

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“There are really kids that can’t afford to learn how to swim?” was the response from 8-year-old Colin Szonyi when his mother, Erin, explained the purpose of the Madison Area YMCA’s Swim for a Cause. That was it. He was in. The Florham Park Briarwood School student, who takes swim lessons at the ...

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Looking above the wire rims of his glasses, Paul Meany makes eye contact with a man who has just come in from the rain holding up his Madison Area YMCA membership card for Paul to scan. A friendly face at the Welcome Center that people look forward to seeing, Paul is always quick with a smile or a ...

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MADISON, NJ - Three hundred people came from hours away, some on foot others by bus, in the rural area of Intibuca, Honduras, part of the Central American Dry Corridor, for medical attention by a surgical brigade of volunteer American doctors and nurses as well as volunteers like Maggie Claudio.

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                        When Gianna Latorre and her friend, Sarah Delaney, embarked on the journey to earn their Girl Scout Silver Awards, the Chatham Middle School 8th graders each did about 50 hours of community service and chose to have their final project ...

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“Drew, you are the best at that!” Nicole McLaughlin says in a muffled voice. As 1-year-old Drew releases his bear-hug hold on Nicole’s face, she kisses the top of his head. “The face hug!” Now her voice is audible—pretty and bright as a bell. If voices could be colors, Nicole’s would be ...

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A group of dance students dressed in pink leotards eagerly await entrance into the room where they will tap, flap and dig their tap shoes and walk delicately on the tips of their ballerina-slipper toes.  It’s 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Madison Area YMCA’s School of Performing Arts. When ...

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When Tirian Chang was a baby he would float around in his mother’s arms at the Madison Area YMCA pool when he took “Mommy and Me” swim classes with his mother, Paige. Imagine the thrill when the Mariners swim team member, now 8, butterflied his way to 1st place at the N.J.Y.M.C.A. 8 & Under ...

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The Kirby bus, as it is affectionately called, pulls up to the Madison Area YMCA’s Family Center. The kids on the bus have just taken a short ride from the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center on East Street to do their sports, swimming, gymnastics, performing arts or enrichment classes. Five-year-old John ...

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Michael Harris comes from a big family—he has six siblings. Incredibly, his heart has room for more. “The Madison Area YMCA staff and members are part of my family,” says the soft-spoken 23-year-old who works as a member services representative at the Madison Area YMCA.  “Michael has a heart of ...

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“My mom works here at the Y,” says 9-year-old Leah Rajnarain, looking out from under her cat face-shaped sleeping mask that’s pushed up above her big brown eyes. It’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon and she’s in Kids Central, the Madison Area YMCA’s indoor playground, snuggled up in comfy pajamas ...

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Joy is infectious. If you meet the Fabyanski family of Madison, you’re likely to have a conversation with them and forget that you met them only 10 minutes ago. “I can’t imagine Christmas without selling Christmas trees at the Y,” says Ryan Fabyanski, 19, standing in the middle of the Madison ...

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  Emma Einhorn is still in disbelief of the honor bestowed on her. “Amazing,” says the vivacious, chatty 18 year old, describing how she felt when she attended the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance dinner to accept the Madison Area YMCA’s 2016 Youth Volunteer of the Year award. “To do good for ...

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Rolling a large silver cart filled with tools to fix a faucet in the women’s bathroom of the Family Center, it’s a typical evening for Greg Maulbeck at the Madison Area YMCA. He’s one of the magicians in the maintenance department who ensures that things run smoothly at the Family Center and the ...

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“Week 11,” says a smiling Daniela Chieffo. “How’s everyone doing?” She scans the seven faces in a Madison Area YMCA conference room on a recent Thursday evening. “We’re here.” It’s an affirmation to the group. “I know there were lots of social events, time with family and friends...how did our ...

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