The Y is here to nurture the potential of kids and teens, help people live healthier and support our neighbors.
Our impact is demonstrated when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.
We make a difference.
Here enjoy a few of the impactful stories of members, employees, volunteers and friends who are part of our cause and help us deliver our mission.
Social Responsibility – Tom McGrath
Y Team Member
Tom McGrath has been a part-time employee at the Y for 15 years and involved with our annual campaign ever since. He is a spin instructor at the Red Bank Family Health & Wellness Center. When asked why he chooses to volunteer with the Y, Tom responds in line with his true giving spirit.
What better way than to turn it around from a Why to Why Not! Let me tell you why I volunteer at the Y. Like all of you, volunteering is in my DNA. It was encrypted before my birth. My parents gave it to me and entrusted me with it. They said, ‘go out and make this world of ours a better place’.
At the Y, this is what we are entrusted to do. Employees, members and volunteers together are needed to help the less fortunate. From the child who comes from a broken home, to the student who has the promise to build our Mars Rocket, to the parent who needs a place to send his or her child for after school activities, to the great neighbor who was diagnosed with a terrible disease, where the Y’s well-trained staff of professionals can help them gain their strength and courage back.
These are the many reasons that I volunteer at OUR Y. No, not mine, not yours….. but, all of ours! There are many other reasons, too numerous to list here but, if you want to know more please call me or better yet, take a fitness schedule from the front desk and come to my Indoor Cycling class. You won’t be disappointed.
Social Responsibility – Peter McCarthy
Peter McCarthy is one of The Community YMCA’s most dedicated advocates. As Chairman of our Foundation Board, he is helping to build our Endowment Fund to ensure that the Y is accessible to all who need us today and in the future.
Peter joined the Foundation Board in 2011, eager to make a positive impact in his community. He has supported facility improvements at Camp Zehnder, our outdoor day camp in Wall Township, and has served as co-chair of the Y’s annual Golf Classic at Due Process Stable Golf Course for several years.
In 2015, Peter was elected to serve as chairman of the Foundation Board. In this role, Peter lends his expertise of the financial services industry in growing the Y Endowment and continually raises awareness of the Y’s charitable mission.
We are truly grateful for Peter’s commitment to our cause and his unwavering support to strengthen kids, families and community.
Youth Development – Nicholas Villalobos-Best
Nicholas Villalobos-Best took to heart a very important lesson when his home and town were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in 2012: volunteers make a difference.
Inspired by the army of volunteers who reached out to help his family and scores of others in Union Beach after the hurricane, Nicholas has been lending a hand in the community ever since.
The senior at Red Bank Regional High School was honored for his volunteerism at the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance Recognition Celebration on Oct. 20, 2016 at Forsgate Country Club.
Nicholas helps the community in many ways. The 17-yearold tutors elementary school students at the Y’s Bayshore Family Success Center in Leonardo on Saturday mornings and helps cook and entertain seniors at assisting living facilities. Through his church group, he has helped coordinate food and clothing drives for the homeless, assisted with a cleanup at a local Ronald McDonald House, and fasted with the 30 Hour Famine Organization to fund raise for hungry families.
This past summer, Nicholas served as positive role model to children at YMCA Camp Zehnder working as a camp counselor. He is a member of the Y Teen Achievers college readiness program and looks forward to attending college and continuing to help others.
The Y thanks Nicholas for making a positive impact in our community and congratulates him on being honored by the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance.
Social Responsibility – Benedict J. Torcivia, Jr.
The Community YMCA presented our annual Distinguished Citizen Service Award to Benedict J. Torcivia, Jr., Co-President of Torcon, Inc, at the Y Cares Annual Benefit on October 15, 2016 at Stillwell Stables in Colts Neck .
Ben was honored for his community service and long-time commitment to The Community YMCA. As a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees, Ben has helped build our Endowment Fund, which supports our mission to serve all and the future of our Y.
Ben and his brother Joe oversee operations at Torcon, a 50-year construction management and general contracting company with headquarters in Red Bank. In addition to serving on the Y’s Foundation Board, Ben is a member of the Riverview Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees and the Rumson Zoning Board. He has been an active leader in the New Jersey construction industry, serving as President of the Board of the Building Contractors Association of New Jersey. He is current Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey.
Thank you, Ben, for building a stronger Y and a stronger community.
Youth Development – Anekha Goyal
After experiencing the ups and downs of high school with her peers, Anekha Goyal, at the age of only 14, started an organization called Speakster to help young people build confidence through public speaking and goal-setting workshops.
Her efforts to help young people develop their potential were recognized in October 2015 by the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance at its annual Recognition Dinner.
The 16-year-old junior at Bio Technology High School has helped over 100 children and teens in YMCA and other youth programs develop public speaking skills and tap into their inner strength to make positive changes in their lives and the lives of others.
Anekha is also co-founder of the Model United Nations chapter at her high school and is using this experience to mentor middle school children who are interested in civic engagement.
“Volunteering has been extremely gratifying,” said Anekha, who aspires for a career in neuroscience and genetics.
Our congratulations to Anekha for receiving the Volunteer Recognition Award and for being such a positive role model to young people.
Youth Development – Aimee Brown
Y Team Member
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Y camp director is helping to create memories that last a lifetime, says Aimee Brown. Whether it’s making a new friend, swimming for the first time or reaching the top of the climbing wall, Aimee enjoys seeing children experience memorable moments.
Earlier this year, Aimee was promoted to camp director at Camp Zehnder, where she has been creating opportunities for campers to try new things for nine years, first as a camp counselor and most recently as a unit director overseeing a group of counselors.
Aimee has been a part of some great programs at Camp Zehnder. One she especially has enjoyed is the Role Model in Training program, which prepares teens to become counselors. As a result of this program, she has helped train many campers to become excellent counselors.
Her hard work and dedication are what make her a perfect fit for this month’s Difference Maker. “Coming back to camp each summer and knowing that I will help children have the best summer is a great feeling I look forward to each year,” she said.
Social Responsibility – Chris Mosley
Chris Mosley is one of The Community YMCA’s greatest advocates for kids. He believes that all children should have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors at Y summer day camps and has dedicated countless hours to raising money for camp scholarships and improving our camp properties.
On May 18, 2015, the Y honored Chris with the inaugural “Volunteer Achievement Award” in his name at our Summer Camp Scholarship Golf Tournament.
Chris serves on the Y Board of Directors and Property & Finance Committee. He served as chairman of the camp board for three years and co-chaired the Grillin’ & Chillin’ Gala in 2013. He is also an active volunteer in his community.
Chris said he enjoys giving back to the community and receives great satisfaction from volunteering at the Y because of the strong focus on youth development.
Social Responsibility – Joshua Hare
On Saturday mornings, when many teens are sleeping in, 18-year-old Joshua Hare volunteers his time helping elementary students solve math problems and hone their spelling skills at the Y’s Bayshore Family Success Center in Leonardo.
The center began offering free tutoring and homework help to elementary school students in January, and Josh was the first to sign up to be a tutor. He went on to recruit four fellow National Honor Society members from Middletown High School North, where he is a senior.
Working one-on-one and in small groups, Josh helps kids in all subject areas every Saturday from 10 a.m.- noon.
Josh believes strongly in lending a hand to help build a stronger community.
“Volunteering builds great community,” Josh said. “The tutors have had the opportunity to share their skills with other students. All of what we as tutors have learned in school is now being put to use to help those who live around us. The students are also able to look up to those helping them. With that, volunteering and helping others has built relationships and allowed for the exchange of knowledge, all contributing to our community.”
The Community YMCA is thankful for teens like Josh, for being outstanding role models and helping us give young people the support they need to achieve their potential.
Social Responsibility – Phyllis Sofo
Y Team Member
Being a native New Yorker, Phyllis never imagined working anywhere outside of New York City. But in 2007, she was recruited by The Community YMCA for the role as assistant to the CEO. Since her children lived in the Red Bank area, it was an easy move to make, and Phyllis joined the Y family.
Her first day on the job introduced her to a Y she never knew about. Attending the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast, Phyllis realized that the Y was more than the swim and gym that most people see. On that first day, Phyllis saw what the Y was truly all about.
Phyllis is an integral part of the team behind the scenes. As Executive Assistant to Rhonda Anderson, the President & CEO of The Community YMCA, Phyllis is virtually the backbone of the organization, offering support to all those at the Y, whether it be the Board of Directors, office management, pitching in wherever she is needed, setting up meetings, or just brightening the office with her smile and warmth.
“I realized that the Y was really about a community of people helping the people of the community,” she said. “By being supportive to all the staff members who have an impact on families, I hope I am ultimately having an impact on the families we serve.”
Phyllis says making people smile is the most rewarding part of her job, knowing that she works with a group of caring people who are working hard to improve the lives of so many.
“I look at what I do as what my first impression of the Y was – helping people who help others.”
Social Responsibility – Heather Egan
Y Team Member
When Heather Egan first came to the Y in the summer of 2013, she started working as a parent coach and mentor. She felt the job was so rewarding
she became a Certified Behavioral Assistant. This has led her to opportunities to work as a life skills mentor in tandem with therapists, to help make a difference in the lives of clients and their families.
Heather’s experience as a mentor has given her the confidence in knowing that even the most seemingly unreachable clients are reachable. “You need to utilize patience, and persistence and try to think outside of the box. Some of the most rewarding experiences for me have come from clients who initially either didn’t want the service or maybe initially weren’t agreeable to receiving help.”
Heather’s favorite part of her job is seeing improvements in children and families who were struggling with communications, socialization, parenting and other issues. Helping clients in even the smallest possible way is immensely gratifying and rewarding, she said.
“Being able to leave a client in a better place and knowing that in some way you might have assisted in that improvement is the most rewarding feeling,” says Heather. “If the impact is large or small, it doesn’t matter. Even the smallest steps toward positive change can one day lead to overall better choices and happier families. That is why this work is so important.”
Social Responsibility – Alicia Moresco
Y Team Member
Union Beach resident Alicia Maresco got far more than a sponsorship when she approached the Bayshore Family Success Center about the town’s annual 5K race earlier this year. She got a job!
Alicia’s strong ties in her home community of Union Beach landed her a rewarding positon as Volunteer and Community Partnership Coordinator for our state-funded center, which recently relocated from Union Beach to Leonardo. In her new role at the center, Alicia recruits volunteers and develops and implements a wide variety of programs to engage and support families in the Bayshore area.
“I really enjoyed the work we do here. We have a large pool of volunteers and I love how they willingly bring their unique and special talents to our Center,” she said, of working with the chefs, bakers, crafter, decorators and educators that donate their time and crafts to their community.
Programs Alicia runs for families include Lunch Bunch for parents and kids, Understanding the Mind of a Toddler, ESL and Family Literacy and community holiday parties.
“I have only been with the Y a short time, but in that time my belief in our community and commitment to volunteerism has deepened.”