The YMCA of Montclair is pleased to announce Investors Bank as this year’s corporate honoree for the YMCA 1891 Gala fundraiser being held at Mayfair Farms in West Orange on October 4, 2019. The Gala’s individual honorees are Maryellen Stadtlander and Sharon Egan. 

Investors Bank has provided support to the YMCA for nearly ten years, improving facilities for teens and older adults as well as recently providing funding for the construction of a universal playground at the Geyer Family YMCA. Investors Bank has been a sponsor of the Gala since 2011 and is this year’s Event Sponsor.  

Founded in 1926, Investors is the largest bank headquartered in New Jersey, with more than $26 billion in assets and over 145 retail branches in the New York metropolitan area.  

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“Investors Bank is committed to creating a legacy by connecting people of all ages who make the YMCA of Montclair a regular part of their lives,” said Investors Bank CEO Kevin Cummings.  “We recognize the vital role the organization plays in the community it serves, and it is our honor to support such a worthy cause.” 

Lifelong friends Maryellen Stadtlander and Sharon Egan will also be honored.  Maryellen and Sharon have been members of the 1891 Gala Committee for eight years, raising thousands of dollars to provide scholarships for individuals and families. These monies have helped children and adults access school aged childcare, summer camp, membership, swim lessons and chronic disease wellness programs. 

Both Maryellen and Sharon credit the YMCA of Montclair as an important part of their lives since they were kids. Sharon remembers when the Y lounge was “the place to be,” and cherishes the many friendships formed there with people both young and old. Later, as co-owner and proprietor of Egan and Sons, Sharon came to rely on the YMCA’s childcare programs to keep her own children safe, engaged, and happy while she worked. Sharon’s philanthropic efforts expand beyond the YMCA of Montclair to several causes, including Lamplight for Haiti and Montclair’s Jazz House Kids. Sharon lives in Montclair with her dog, Charlie. 

Maryellen’s connection to the YMCA goes back to 1966, when her mother enrolled her and sister, Susie, in the swimming program. “My mother looked upon swimming not just as recreation, but as a lifesaving skill,” Stadtlander recalls. Maryellen felt a sense of security at the YMCA and relished the opportunity to interact with people of all backgrounds in “a unique communal experience in a small town.”  When she became a mom, all three of her sons also learned to swim at the Y.  

In the late 1980s, when the childcare center at St. Luke’s church closed, Maryellen and other board members helped relocate it to the newly renovated wing at the YMCA, where it continued to supply high-quality, affordable childcare to the community. Maryellen currently works in the finance office at Egan and Sons. She also operates Mary’s Happy Camper, a mobile coffee service.  Maryellen lives in West Orange with her wife, Susan Wyatt. 

“Investors Bank, Maryellen Stadtlander and Sharon Egan have had an outsized impact on the YMCA of Montclair’s ability to provide life-changing assistance to individuals and families,” said Buddy Evans, President and CEO of the YMCA of Montclair. “They and the dedicated Gala committee members help us extend our mission of strengthening mind, body and spirit for those in need in our community.” 

The Gala will also remember former YMCA of Montclair Board Member Ted Kiesewetter who passed away on May 24, 2019. Ted supported the Y through substantial financial support and his service on the Y’s Board including his role as Board Chair and Finance Committee member from 2006 - 2013. Ted was passionate about ensuring the Y’s future in the community so that the Y would continue to deliver quality programs for years to come.  

The emcee for this year’s YMCA Gala is Luke Parker-Bowles, president at Story Mining and Supply Co and part of the creative department at Working Title Films. Luke Parker-Bowles also directs Bellevue Enterprises, which is transforming the landmark Bellevue movie theater in Upper Montclair. The DJ is Montclair’s own Prince Hakim. The Gala is co-chaired by David Placek and Liz Ruvo. 

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The YMCA of Montclair was founded in 1891 and is a nonprofit organization that welcomes all people. The Y offers need based financial assistance for programs and membership and school aged childcare to residents of Bloomfield, Cedar Grove, Clifton, Glen Ridge, Montclair and Verona. The Y also offers financial assistance for camp to residents of Bloomingdale, Haskell and West Milford. Members benefit from healthy lifestyle-related core programs, including aquatics, childcare, day camp, family activities, health and wellness, sports and teen programs.