The Westfield Area Y in collaboration with the Plainfield Area YMCA is hosting the 18th Annual Achievers Banquet on Friday, March 11 from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. at The Westwood located at 438 North Avenue in Garwood. The Keynote Speaker is former NFL football player, kidney disease survivor and author of “The Next Quarter: Scoring Against Kidney Disease,” Donald Jones. The evening will include dinner and a Tricky Tray (items donated by: Lord & Taylor, NY Jets, Plainfield Symphony, Avon, Prudential Center, NY Broadway Tours, Somerset Patriots).  Union County Freeholders will also recognize the 2016 High School Graduates as well as returning Alumni Achievers. 

Keynote Speaker Donald Jones will share his personal journey of growing up in the inner city of Plainfield, New Jersey and playing in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. He is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author and a kidney transplant survivor. Donald is a national spokesperson for the Kidney Foundation and a board member for the IGA Nephropathy Foundation of America. Donald Jones will also host a book signing.  Books can be purchased in advance at or at the event.

The Westfield Area Y Achievers program began 18 years ago and matches youth with achieving African-American and other minority professionals as role models.  The goal is to raise the academic standards of young people, expose students to diverse career options and inspire them to reach their goals. Achievers also participate in community service activities, celebrate their history, culture and traditions, receive college prep tutoring and essay assistance.   

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The Achievers program is funded in large part by the Annual Banquet. Funds raised by the banquet go directly to the program enabling youth to participate for little or no cost and the college scholarship fund. Special thanks to The Connell Co. for their generous support of this event, the Achievers program and the scholarship fund.

Register for the banquet and/or purchase an ad in the Ad Journal online at  Please contact Janice A. Carthens at (908) 233-2700 x227, or Nadya Lawrence at (908) 233-2700 with any questions or to learn how to further support the leaders of tomorrow.