Health & Wellness

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Lakeland Bank Donates $100K to Sussex County YMCA Expansion

Ronald Schwarz, Thomas Shara, Karen Garrera Jennifer Gardner, Raymond Cordts, Richard K. Gorab, Robert Vandenbergh, Keith Niedergall

HARDYSTON, NJ -  Lakeland Bank, a longtime supporter of Sussex County YMCA, has pledged $100,000 toward the YMCA’s 9,000-square-foot addition scheduled for completion in January.

Lakeland Bank’s donation is a major gift in the $3.8 million project that features construction of a full-size high school gymnasium, additional wellness space, renovated program space and a reimagined welcome area and lobby. With full funding of the Room to Grow Capital Campaign, the expansion would include a cycle room for spin classes, a climbing structure in the lobby, and renovations to locker rooms, and bathrooms. The campaign has already raised more than $2.9 million.

“Lakeland Bank has always supported community programs that help build strong, vibrant and healthy neighborhoods,” Lakeland Bank President and CEO Thomas Shara said. “The Sussex County Y is a perfect example of an organization that the bank is dedicated to partnering with, and we are excited to provide the $100,000 pledge to help fund a new wellness coaching area and continue their important mission.”

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When the Lakeland Bank Wellness Coaching Area is completed, the Y can expand its successful community wellness programs. The center will be home to: LiveStrong at the YMCA, a free 12-week program for cancer survivors; Everyone Can Play, providing fun exercise opportunities for members with developmental disabilities; Y-First, an innovative physician referral program that offers personal wellness, health and nutrition programing in partnership with local medical professionals; and Senior Wellness Programming, which provides seniors with guidance on using fitness equipment and living a healthier, more active lifestyle.

“Lakeland’s commitment and support to the Y is vital to our success,” Sussex County YMCA Executive Director Jennifer Gardner said. “Lakeland Bank and its employees are truly a business that invests themselves in helping and serving the community,” she said. “The bank’s generosity helps us provide the programs and services to all county residents and further our mission of strengthening our community.”

Sussex County YMCA was an early beneficiary of Lakeland Bank’s Sussex County Golf Classic, now in its 35th year, Shara noted. When it became clear in the mid-1990s that Sussex County needed a full-service YMCA, Lakeland Bank became a partner in developing the 32,500-square-foot facility on Wits End Road. Throughout the years, Lakeland’s team has worked closely with the Y’s management and board to create customized financial solutions to help fund the organization’s monetary needs for development and future growth, Shara said.

“We are grateful for the generosity of Lakeland Bank and its ongoing commitment to bring people together and make a difference in the health and wellbeing of our communities,” said Jarrod Cofrancesco, chairman of Sussex County Y’s board of managers.

To contribute to the Room to Grow Capital Campaign, contact Metro YMCA Chief Development Officer Lisa Kelly at or 973-758-9622, or visit the Sussex County YMCA for a tour.


Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey, serving more than 55,000 individuals, including 30,000 members, and providing nearly $1.3 million in direct financial assistance. Its six YMCAs, located in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne, are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility. They offer an array of programs that build spirit, mind and body for people of all ages and all circumstances.

 About Lakeland Bank

Lakeland Bank is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:LBAI), which has $5.2 billion in total assets. The Bank operates 53 branch offices throughout Bergen, Essex, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Union counties in New Jersey including one branch in Highland Mills, New York; six New Jersey regional commercial lending centers in Bernardsville, Jackson, Montville, Newton, Teaneck and Waldwick; and one in New York to serve the Hudson Valley region. Lakeland also has a commercial loan production office serving Middlesex and Monmouth counties in New Jersey.  Lakeland Bank offers an extensive suite of financial products and services for businesses and consumers. Visit for more information.


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