Red Bank, NJ (January 30, 2019) – Local residents and businesses are invited to join forces with The Community YMCA at its Annual Community Campaign launch on Feb. 6 to help strengthen vulnerable neighbors in Monmouth County.

The event will kick off a 6-week community fundraising campaign to generate support for children and families in need of financial assistance for affordable childcare, therapeutic counseling, summer camp experiences, life-saving swim lessons and other vital Y programs and services.

“At the Y, we believe everyone deserves opportunities to learn, grow and thrive no matter who you are or where you are from,” said President and CEO Laurie Goganzer. “With support from our community, the Y can reach more people in need with high-impact programs and services that change lives.”

The Community YMCA, a nonprofit charity serving 20,000 people across Monmouth County, relies on community support to deliver on its mission to provide access to all regardless of age, income or background. In 2018, the organization provided over $830,000 in financial assistance and subsidies to strengthen 2,590 local residents, said Christian Buckman, chairperson of the Annual Community Campaign and a member of the Y Board of Directors.

“We can’t do it without community support,” Buckman said. “A strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors.”

This year, the Y’s community fundraising goal is $85,000 toward an overall goal of $812,000 to support programs and services that protect, teach, connect, heal, nourish and encourage children and families.

The keynote speaker for the event is child advocate Kevin Ryan, president and CEO of Covenant House, one of the largest charities across North and Central America serving children, youth and young families facing homelessness and human trafficking.

In 2018 across six countries, Covenant House reached nearly 89,000 young lives, including providing housing and services to young people in Asbury Park.

Founded in 1972, Covenant House’s work has been recognized with several of the world’s most distinguished human rights awards, including the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Award, the WOLA Human Rights Prize and the Olof Palme Peace Prize.

A former member of The Community YMCA Board of Directors, Ryan served as the first public Child Advocate in New Jersey and the first commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, as well as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services.

He and his family reside in Fair Haven and are active members of The Community YMCA.

Buckman said all are invited to the kick off, which is scheduled for 6-8 p.m., at the Red Bank Family YMCA. Child care will be available in the Y’s Child Watch Center at no cost to guests of this event.

To attend, volunteer or for more information about the Y’s Annual Campaign, contact Stacy Vasta, associate director of development, at giving@cymca.org or 732.671.5505, ext. 120.

To make a donation to the Y’s Annual Campaign, visit http://cymca.org/donate.