LIVINGSTON, NJ — Supporters, members and staff of the West Essex YMCA are invited to help kick off this year’s Annual Support Campaign on Feb. 6 with a “Have a Heart” event to be held on Thursday, Feb. 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the West Essex Y, located at 321 South Livingston Ave. in Livingston.

The West Essex Y has set a goal of raising $150,000 to help adults and children access quality child care, health and wellness programs, summer camp, swim lessons and more.

“The YMCA provides a place where everyone in the community, regardless of their ability, age, background, ethnicity and race, faith, gender identity or sexual orientation, can stay active and healthy, learn a new skill, or just socialize with neighbors,” said Joanne Browne, associate executive director of the West Essex Y. “We count on the generosity of people in the community to provide free programs and financial assistance to those who need it most.”

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The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, which includes the West Essex Y, collectively set a goal of raising $1.180 million in 2020. Funds raised will support YMCA programs such as camps and child care for children of all ages, and help families access these programs regardless of their ability to pay. 

"The Metro YMCA of the Oranges and its branches work every day to make a direct and meaningful impact in the lives of children and families by promoting healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility,” said Richard K. Gorab, president and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. “Funds raised through this year's Annual Support Campaign will allow us to continue this important mission in our communities and give more people the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.”

The public is invited to join the West Essex Y for hors d'oeuvres and light refreshments and to hear stories of the Y’s impact at the kick-off celebration. RSVP by Feb. 3 to Kathie Amato at 973-992-7500 or kamato@metroymcas.org

The Metro YMCA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is recognized for its stewardship of charitable donations. Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator, has awarded the Metro Y its top rating for nine years in a row in recognition of the organization’s sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only 3 percent of the charities evaluated have received at least nine consecutive four-star evaluations.

For more information or to make contribution, visit www.metroymcas.org or contact the West Essex Y at 973-992-7500.