Shrewsbury, NJ (Sept. 14, 2015) – The Community YMCA will honor the Middletown Township School District and Superintendent of Schools William O. George, III, Ed.D for their commitment to youth development at The Y Cares Annual Benefit on Saturday, September 26, at Camp Arrowhead in Marlboro.

The school district will be presented the Community Partner Award, while Dr. George will be acknowledged with the Distinguished Citizen Service Award at the annual benefit to support children and families in need of Y services.

“We are truly proud to honor the Middletown Township School District and Dr. George,” said The Community YMCA President and CEO Rhonda Anderson. “Under the leadership of Dr. George, the district is an exemplary community partner that works side-by-side with the Y to help Middletown students build the skills and confidence they need to realize their potential.”

The Y’s partnership with the district began in 2007 with the Y providing before and afterschool care programs in the district’s elementary schools. Students benefit from homework assistance, creative enrichment activities and the Y’s Healthy U childhood obesity prevention program. Funded by the Horizon Foundation, Healthy U is based on the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) curriculum, a national award-winning program with over 15 years of proven research documenting its success in reducing childhood obesity.

Middletown schools have embraced Healthy U with the district among the first in New Jersey to integrate the CATCH curriculum into the daily educational setting. On Oct. 14, the district will host the annual fall statewide kickoff for Healthy U at Middletown High School South with women’s soccer champion Carli Lloyd and All-American basketball player Jay Williams.

Anderson noted that the Y’s partnership with the district has grown over the years to include enriching Y Arts Clubs, civic engagement programs and, most recently, school-based therapeutic counseling.

“The Y has been able to make a positive difference in the development of youth and teens in Middletown schools because of Dr. George’s vision and commitment to inspiring and motivating all students to maximize their potential through the pursuit of life-long learning,” Anderson said.

Dr. George has served as Superintendent of Middletown Township Public Schools since 2011. Prior to leading the 17-school district, he served as Superintendent of the Hazlet Public School District.

During the 2014-2015 school year, he was selected Monmouth County Superintendent of the Year in recognition of the accomplishments and initiatives of the Middletown Township schools. The State of New Jersey Senate and General Assembly recently honored him with the 2015 Governor’s Educational Services Professionals Award for service and leadership in education. In 2014, the Monmouth University School of Education presented Dr. George with the University’s first John Dewey Award, an honor named for the influential 20th century educator and reformer, John Dewey. The award is given to celebrate the commitment and excellence of preschool through high school educational professionals.

Dr. George recently completed a professional learning scholarship tour on Innovation and the Future Education. He was awarded a grant to travel with fellow educators from all over the United States, explore the education system and culture in Finland, and participate in a leadership conference in Davos, Switzerland.

He earned a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University, a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Monmouth University, a Master of Arts degree in physical education from Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Michigan State University.

The Y Cares Benefit will begin at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails in the Carr Pavilion featuring music by Carl Gentry, a graduate of Middletown schools. Dinner by Merri-makers Caterers will follow, along with dancing to the music of Tim McLoone & The Shirleys. The evening will include silent and live auctions and a 50/50 cash raffle.

Support for the benefit will help the Y ensure that everyone – regardless of ability to pay, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive through Y programs such as afterschool care, youth sports, health and wellness, swim lessons, summer camp, teen leadership and counseling and social services.

Individual tickets are available by calling the Y at 732.671.5505, ext. 141 or visiting www.TheCommunityYMCA.org/Benefit.