MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Maplewood Rotary has generously donated $5,000 to help support the South Mountain YMCA’s community response efforts during the pandemic, as well as a $1,000 Lead Sponsorship of the Annual Duck Race.

“We are so thankful for our Rotaries and their continued support of the Y and our Duck Race,” said James Goodger, South Mountain YMCA District Executive Director. “In a year where we are not directly seeking sponsorships but instead relying on a more philanthropic approach with suggested donation levels for ducks, we are thrilled that they have championed our efforts.” 

The South Mountain YMCA did not solicit prizes and sponsorships from local small businesses for this year’s upcoming beloved Duck Race, but instead has decided to dedicate a portion of the proceeds to help the very small businesses that have ensured the event’s success over the last 20 years.

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The Y is collaborating with Special Improvement Districts of Maplewood Village Alliance, Springfield Avenue Alliance, and the South Orange Village Center Alliance to garner the most impact.

 The Rotary’s gifts will help support the community through programs and services the Y is providing, including: 

●  Access to lifesaving programs like Blood Drives

●  Family and community resources that address food insecurity and basic needs of individuals and families less fortunate

●  Emergency Child Care for essential workers

●  Senior well checks and socialization activities

●  Mental and physical health and wellness through free virtual program offerings

●  Stress and anxiety relief for all ages

●  Virtual programs for children to combat learning loss from a disruption of structured school routine

●  STEAM-based education

●  Free access to our Virtual Kindergarten Readiness Program for children in need

 “We see what our YMCA is doing to help children and families in our communities and it was an easy decision to do what we can to help them continue to fulfill their mission,” said Claudine Baptiste, Maplewood Rotary President.

“Programs like Emergency Child Care, food distribution, distance learning and virtual engagement activities are vital right now, and it’s been heartwarming to see the Y stepping up and adapting to the current situation to help wherever they can. Our hope is that the community rallies behind organizations like the Y so that they can deliver much-needed programs now, and be prepared to help us all when our towns fully reopen,” she said.

 This year, join the Y for a virtual Duck Race at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Join the interactive “DuckCenter” via the South Mountain Y Facebook, Metro You Tube or South Mountain’s Instagram to cheer, waddle at home, and celebrate this race.

Anyone can buy a duck at the level that’s right for them, with funds supporting the local economy in addition to the Y.

“Our community is coming together in incredible ways during this challenging time and on behalf of everyone in South Orange and Maplewood, we send a HUGE thanks to our friends at Maplewood Rotary!” said Goodger. 


Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance. 


Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. There are over 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.

Through community service, Rotary club members, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help promote peace and understanding throughout the world. The organization's dedication to these ideals is best expressed in its motto "Service Above Self".

Our members are our most important asset. They are the force that allows Rotary to carry out its many humanitarian efforts and achieve its mission. Here in Maplewood, we are currently a diverse group of 20 members who meet each weekly to discuss ideas and implement programs.


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TAPinto SOMA is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village. 
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