MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Supporters, members, and staff of the South Mountain YMCA are invited to help “Light the Way” for children and families on Friday, Feb. 7 as the Y kicks off this year’s Annual Support Campaign. 

The South Mountain Y has set a goal of raising $200,000 to help adults and children access quality programs in child care, health and wellness, summer camp, youth enrichment, and more.

“The YMCA provides a place where the youth and teens in the community, regardless of their ability, background, ethnicity and race, faith, gender identity or sexual orientation, can extend their learning, stay active and healthy, build vital life and leadership skills, or simply meet new friends,” said James Goodger, executive director of the South Mountain Y. “We don’t do this work alone. With the community’s support through donations and pledges, we can impact even more people.”

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The kick-off celebration takes place from 7 - 9 p.m. at the YMCA Civic House, 124 Dunnell Rd. in Maplewood, and will feature performances by youth theater program participants and stories of the Y’s impact. Special guests include Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee and South Orange Village President Sheena Collum.

There will also be light refreshments, including wine and craft beer. Register by Jan. 31 via eventbrite.com, or contact the South Mountain Y Welcome Center at 973-762-4145. Child care will be available at no cost for ages 3-11 at the Y’s Program Center. Space is limited; call 973-762-4145 to reserve.

The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, which includes the South Mountain Y, collectively set a goal of raising $1,180,000 in 2020. Money 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 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 4-star evaluations.

For more information or to make contribution, visit www.metroymcas.org or contact the South Mountain Y at 973-762-4145.

ABOUT THE Y

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.