Health & Wellness

Press Releases

South Mountain YMCA Associate Executive Director Honored for Advancing Initiatives

Associate Executive Director South Mountain YMCA
receives award

South Mountain YMCA Associate Executive Director Eric Stoddard drove many of the Y’s ambitious efforts in 2016. Enrollment in camp and after-school care soared. The Y launched a range of new offerings and expanded into new spaces. Two major events, the Y’s Healthy Kids Day and the Memorial Day Duck Race, broke records.

“Eric played a huge role in new directions the Y went in, thinking outside the box and our facility, and giving tremendous support to the staff,” South Mountain YMCA Executive Director James Goodger said.

Stoddard received the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges’ Rudolph N. Hawkins Staff Member of the Year Award at the Metro YMCA’s 40th annual recognition dinner, held April 5 at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover. More than 200 people attended. South Mountain YMCA, one of six branches of the Metro YMCA, was named Branch of the Year (read more about that here).

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“Eric embraces change, and is always thinking how to make things better” said Edward G. Philipp, the Metro Y’s senior vice president/chief operating officer. “In 2016, he was able to make a lot happen at the branch, all while raising two young children of his own.”

Stoddard was quick to share credit with Goodger and the rest of the Y staff. “James has ignited excitement, passion and creativity since he arrived, that has trickled into all the programs,” Stoddard said. “We had such a great year, because we were all thinking outside the box.”

Camp enrollment increased 12.5 percent, as the Y widened its offerings and improved operations under Stoddard’s guidance, Goodger said. Throughout the off-camp season, Stoddard coordinated bimonthly camp meetings at which staff generated ideas and shared best practices, Goodger said. The Y launched Camps CHANGE Lives, a program that introduces children to philanthropy and increases their vocabulary in words that are commonly used and can change depending on context.

The Y launched a range of new offerings, including the Family Room, which encourages parents and children to spend time together; classes in skateboarding and toddler bicycling; and a theater program at the Montrose School in South Orange. Stoddard arranged for a new “Build It” camp to take place this summer at The Woodland, a historic site owned by Maplewood.

Because the Y has limited space, the Y invested in “traveling circus” supplies like giant building blocks and an inflatable pit for Gaga, a gentler version of dodgeball, so the fun can be enjoyed at community events and the Y’s after-school programs, Stoddard said.

Stoddard joined the South Mountain YMCA as senior program director in 2013. A lifelong athlete, he made the national bobsled team in 2003 and won the national championship in the two-man competition as the youngest bobsled athlete on the world cup circuit in 2004. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a mater’s degree in school counseling from St. John’s University in New York City. Stoddard and his wife, Julia, live in Mountainside with their 3-year-old son, Wyatt, and 21-month-old daughter, Hudson.

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Feeling Lucky

Shop of the morning to you! It’s that time of year when everyone’s color is green! Stop by Sadie's to get your St. Patty’s shirt before the big day. While your here and feeling lucky check out our latest Spring styles for Men and Women. You may make your friends green with envy.

Horoscope: Have a birthday between 3/13 and 3/24? If you stumble into a ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


South Orange Police Blotter - Adult Arrests for Shoplifting and DWI Reported

March 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of March 16

Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Home Burglary, Burglary at DeHart Community Center Reported

March 4 - Burglary; At approximately 1:20 a.m., officers observed a male removing several items from inside DeHart Community Center. The male was identified as 22 year old Joe Carr of Irvington. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

March 6 - Burglary; At approximately 11:30 a.m., officers responded to a home on Broadview Avenue on a report of a ...

Most South Orange Maplewood Schools Plan to Participate in National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14

March 12, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Wednesday, March 14, the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is organizing a National School Walkout. According to the national march website, the walkout is for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. "to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods... and to demand Congress ...

South Orange and Maplewood Share Snow Storm Photos

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ — TAPinto SOMA wants your snow storm photos!

Send your pictures to and we'll add them here.

Check back later to see what your neighbors have added.

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Maplewood Strollers Present John Patrick ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 18, 3:00 PM

Madison Junior School, Madison

Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey Winter ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 18, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Mon, March 19, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Members of Brick City Brims Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

March 17, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.

Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to ...

Millburn Township Battle Against Proposed Stop & Shop Comes to an End

MILLBURN, NJ --  Alexander McDonald, Millburn Township Business Administrator, announced that the 24-year court battle with Stop & Shop ended with a dismissal before the pending trial commenced. Originally, Millburn Township and the Board of Adjustments faced four separate suits, which was consolidated into one case for trial. 

McDonald stated: "This has been a ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Union Animal Control Officer

March 17, 2018

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Springfield Residents Cope as Power Slowly Returns

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - As of Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. Springfield is showing outage of 2,677 or 25 percent, which is down from over 40 percent in the last two hours. It is also down from 68 percent at the peak. Union County at this point is over 20 percent of JCP&L’s statewide outages. Trucks are visible on Township streets with a caravan spotted on ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - March 16 to March 22

March 16, 2018

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:

Litofish Sardines $5.99ea (Ashley Fish Market)
Total Fage Yogurt 4/$5
Aviv Passover Matzos 2/$7
Ground Beef $3.99lb (Meat)
Roasted Vegetables $7.99lb (Prep Food)
President Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Iceberg Lettuce $1.99
Serrano Ham $14.99lb (Deli)
Turkey Hill Ice Cream ...

SOMA Film Festival Starts Friday Night, March 16

The 3rd annual SOMA Film Festival is finishing up the final touches before they kickoff this weekend's event at The Woodland, Bow Tie Cinemas in South Orange, and Maplewood Theater.  

With 16 screening programs there is something for everyone. The popular Kids Program is back for two engagements with both sold out as is the Opening Night Party and Screening. 

Tickets are still ...

West Orange Elementary Teacher Succumbs to Injuries Following Accident

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Washington Elementary School first-grade teacher Patricia Villarosa, 64, of West Orange, died on Friday at University Hospital after being struck by a car on Pleasant Valley Way on Feb. 26.

Villarosa was on her way to the West Orange Board of Education meeting at the time and was struck while crossing Pleasant Valley Way near West Orange High School. The driver, a 55-year-old ...