WESTFIELD, NJ – To support the Westfield Area YMCA's programs for young adults with special needs, community members gathered on Saturday evening for a celebration of fashion and shopping at Downtown Westfield’s Lord & Taylor. Leading up to Sunday’s Westfield Area YMCA 5K Run for Everyone, the event provided a casual, family-friendly way for residents and neighbors to support and learn about these programs which have become a large party of the YMCA’s growth.

Five percent of all purchases made within the hours of the shopping event were donated directly to the YMCA’s special needs programs. The Dragonfly program, among others, is supported with proceeds from these fundraising events.

The Dragonfly program offers physical, recreational and social programs for young adults and teens ages 14-26 with special/adaptive needs.

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Jill Koerber, special needs program coordinator and recreational therapist, had only positive feedback regarding the fashion show.

“The Westfield Area YMCA 5K Run for Everyone and surrounding fundraisers, like this shopping event at Lord & Taylor, are the largest donation generators for our YMCA special needs programs here in Westfield,” Koerber said. “Over the course of the last few years, we have grown our program in multiple ways – increased the number of programs and special needs classes offered, widened the age group for our Dragonfly program and created the position that I am now so excited to hold.”

Koerber continued, “This fashion show and shopping event is not only a great opportunity to raise funds that support our programs, but it’s also a hit with all of our participating program members. It’s great to see such a large turnout from our community members.”

The back-to-school style fashion show featured YMCA staff members, Dragonfly program participants, adult YMCA members and members of the Flyers track and field team as models.

Read more about the Westfield Area YMCA's special needs programs at https://www.westfieldynj.org/programs/special-populations/.