RED BANK, NJ:  The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County will be celebrating coming together as the newly united YMCA of Greater Monmouth County at their Stronger Together Gala on Friday, Sept. 27, 6-11 p.m., at The Addison Park in Aberdeen.

Gala co-chairs Irene Hall and Lauren Berke will present special awards honoring five community volunteers who’ve helped advance the Y’s mission:   

Marti and Bruce Huber, Red Bank, will be presented the Legacy Award for their significant impact on the community over the lifetime of their involvement with the Y. Supporters of The Community YMCA since 1993, the Hubers have secured over $1.5 million in support for Y scholarships, and were influential in fundraising for the Red Bank YMCA in the 1980s and establishing The Community YMCA Foundation. Bruce Huber served as a board member of The Community YMCA in the 1960s and as a trustee from 2009-2017.

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Jennifer Lakefield, Colts Neck, will receive the Visionary Award for her ongoing commitment to strengthening communities and planning for the future of the Y. As chief volunteer officer for The Community YMCA, Lakefield helped guide the successful merger of the two Ys. She learned to swim at the Y and participated in many youth development programs. She has served as a Y board member since 2012 and has been appointed chief volunteer officer of the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County.

David Hernandez, Old Bridge, will be presented the Distinguished Citizen Service Award for his outstanding community service. Hernandez is the owner of Old Bridge Funeral Home, incoming president of the Old Bridge, Sayreville & South Amboy Chamber of Commerce, and a board member of Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge.

Stacey DeAlmeida, Marlboro, will receive the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award for her outstanding volunteer service to the Y. DeAlmeida served on the board of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County for six years, and as board chairperson since 2017. She has also served on the executive, finance, governance, fundraising and gala committees for the YMCA. 

Proceeds from the gala will support the Y’s financial assistance scholarship program that gives kids, teens and families in need access to affordable childcare, swim lessons, summer camp, therapeutic counseling, college readiness and other life-changing programs.

“The Stronger Together Gala will be the highlight of an exciting and historic year for the YMCAs of Monmouth County as we join forces as one Y to strengthen the foundation of our community,” said Laurie Goganzer, president & CEO of The Community YMCA. “We are looking forward to honoring five dedicated volunteers who’ve been instrumental in helping the Y increase its impact.”

The two YMCAs have been transforming lives in Monmouth County for 145 years. They merged on Sept. 1, 2019 to become the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County, the second largest YMCA in New Jersey with Goganzer serving as president and CEO.

The benefit will feature music by The Infernos Band, which has performed for President Barack Obama, New Jersey governors and for audiences across New Jersey and around the world. The evening will include cocktails, dinner, dancing, gift auctions and inspiring stories about the Y’s impact. 

Individual tickets are still available and can be purchased by clicking HERE.

For more information, contact Stacy Vasta at 732.671.5505, ext. 120, or

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