The Westfield Area Y is hosting its 13th Annual Black Achievers Fundraising and Recognition Banquet on Friday, March 11th from 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm at the Westwood in Garwood.  Keynote Speaker for the evening will be Congressman Rush Holt.
 
Congressman Rush Holt has represented Central New Jersey in Congress since 1999.   Born in West Virginia, he inherited his interest in politics from his parents. His father was the youngest person ever elected to the U.S. Senate, at age 29. His mother served as Secretary of State of West Virginia and was the first woman to hold that position. Representative Holt sits on the House Committee on Education and Labor, the House Committee on Natural Resources, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.Through the years, he has held positions as a teacher, Congressional Science Fellow, and arms control expert at the U.S. State Department where he monitored the nuclear programs of countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union. From 1989 until he launched his 1998 congressional campaign, he was Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the largest research facility of Princeton University and the largest center for research in alternative energy in New Jersey. He has conducted extensive research on alternative energy and has his own patent for solar energy device.  Representative Holt was also a five-time winner of the game show “Jeopardy.” 

An active Member of Congress and a strong voice for his constituents, Congressman Holt serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Natural Resources. From 2007 to 2010, he was the Chairman of the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel. He has won several significant victories in Washington, including helping secure more than $700 million in new federal funding for science and technology research and passing an amendment to the Land and Water Conservation Fund providing millions in funding for protecting open space.

In his time in office, he has helped secure more than a hundred million dollars to improve roads, reduce flood damage, build libraries, and protect historic sites in the five New Jersey counties he represents.

The Black Achievers Program began at the Harlem YMCA in 1968 as a conduit to helping youth develop life coping skills and education goals.  The program began at the Westfield Area Y 13 years ago and matches youth with achieving African-American and other minority professionals as role models in an effort to raise the academic standards of young people, expose students to diverse career options and inspire them to reach their goals.  Black Achievers youth also participate in community service activities. 
 
The cost for this event is $75.00 per person. Journal Ads can also be purchased in all sizes and need to be submitted with camera ready art work or business card no later than March 2nd.  Please contact Susan Morton at (908) 654-8460 or e-mail smorton@westfieldynj.org for advertising details and space availability and to reserve your seat. The Black Achievers program is funded in large part by this Annual Banquet. Funds raised by the banquet go directly to the program, enabling youth to participate for little or no cost.  She is also available for questions regarding this event or to find out how to participate in supporting the leaders of tomorrow.   
 
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Visit www.westfieldynj.org to learn more about Westfield Area Y programs.  Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.