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My Heartfelt Thanks to the Western Monmouth YMCA

photo by Lynn Rossi
photo by Lynn Rossi

More than money – one’s most precious commodity is time.

And it never ceases to amaze me that the folks with so little time to spare in their busy lives always manage to find the time to give to others in need.

That’s why I was so humbled to be a guest and honoree at last night’s Roaring Twenties Speakeasy Gala hosted by the Western Monmouth YMCA at Battleground Country Club in Manalapan.

Your impression of the YMCA may go back to the Village People hit from 1978 – which while being touted then as a place that’s “fun to stay at” – goes way beyond that.

It’s more than a gym, more than a swimming pool – it’s a community of caring people who give of themselves to make the our little corner of the world a better place.

And to do so, it takes others who are willing to give of their most valuable commodity – their time – to make sure the good work of the Y goes on.

Folks like fellow honoree Carlo Castronovo, owner of Giusseppe’s Pizzeria – who’s been a supporter of the Old Bridge Y since it opened in 2009, and who has always asked “how can I help”. Carlo knows only too well the value of family, having been raised under the watchful eye of Sicilian parents who’ve shared with him and his 3 brothers their love of cooking.

Fellow honoree Edward K. Moran is TD Bank’s Regional Vice President for Monmouth County. As someone with a very busy schedule, he’s still found the time over the last 13 years to be an active member and serve in various capacities with not only the Y, but as a Board member of the United Way of Ocean County and the Monmouth Ocean County Brain tumor support group.

Besides the invocation, the evening began with a testimonial from a member who recalled how during a rough patch in her life, the Y was a lifeline, not only to her, but to her teenaged daughter. She feared that the child would eventually succumb to the pressures of growing up; and was fortunate to receive the mentoring she needed to see the child through.

And that’s merely scratching the surface of what all the Y has to offer.

The proceeds from last night’s gala go towards their “Y Cares Financial Assistance Program” with enables them to provide free and subsidized programs such as child care, camp, teen mentoring, swimming lessons and outreach to the various communities they serve – just to name a few.

In 2013, they’ve touched many lives in Keeping Our Promise to strengthen the community through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.

All of that took money – and it is though generous donations that those programs were allowed to continue.

I cannot thank enough Cynthia Joy – President and CEO of the Western Monmouth YMCA, along with Chairperson Maureen Brown; and Gary Gellman of Gellman Images for his input in choosing to honor both myself and the radio station for our service and dedication to the community.

I’m truly grateful and humbled!

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