The Westfield Area Y in collaboration with the Plainfield Area YMCA is hosting the 18th Annual Achievers Banquet on Friday, March 11th from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm at The Westwood, 438 North Avenue, Garwood, NJ 07027.  Our Keynote Speaker is former NFL football player, kidney disease survivor and author of “The Next Quarter: Scoring Against Kidney Disease.”, Donald Jones. The evening will include dinner, Tricky Tray (sponsors: Lord & Taylor, NY Jets, Plainfield Symphony, Avon, Prudential Center, NY Broadway Tours, Somerset Patriots), recognition of 2016 Achiever High School Graduates and Alumni Achievers Connell Co. Scholarship Recipients by the Union County Freeholders and a book signing from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.  Books can be purchased in advance at or at the event.    

Keynote Speaker, Donald Jones, will share his personal journey of growing up in the inner city of Plainfield, New Jersey and playing in the National Football League (NFL) for the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. He is an entrepreneur (Medi-Coupe), motivational speaker, author and a kidney transplant survivor. Donald is a national spokesperson for the Kidney Foundation and a board member for the IGA Nephropathy Foundation of America. Additionally, he has spoken on Capitol Hill before Congress, at the New York Presbyterian Hospital where he was recognized along with another transplant survivor, Robin Roberts, anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America. 

The Westfield Y Achievers program began at the Westfield Area Y 18 years ago and matches youth with achieving African-American and other minority professionals as role models.  The goal is to raise the academic standards of young people, expose students to diverse career options and inspire them to reach their goals. Achievers also participate in community service activities, celebrate their history, culture and traditions, receive college prep tutoring and essay assistance.   

The Achievers program is funded in large part by the Annual Banquet. Funds raised by the banquet go directly to the program and scholarship, enabling youth to participate for little or no cost. Please visit, contact Janice A. Carthens at (908) 233-2700 x227, or Nadya Lawrence at (908) 233-2700 x412, for details on purchasing an ad in the Ad Journal, to reserve a seat at the banquet, or to find out how to support the leaders of tomorrow.