Red Bank, NJ (April 18, 2019) – The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County announced today that effective Sept. 1, 2019 they will join together as one YMCA association to strengthen individuals, families and communities throughout greater Monmouth County.

Collectively, the YMCAs will serve over 36,000 members and participants, employ more than 1,200 people and engage approximately 650 volunteers with an annual operating budget of $25 million, which will make the new association the second largest YMCA in New Jersey.

The decision to merge is the result of nearly one year of analysis and planning. A task force of eight board members representing both Ys recommended the merger, which was unanimously approved by both boards last night. Members of the task force were Russ Azzarello, John Badenhop, Stacey DeAlmeida, Tim Hogan, Jennifer Lakefield, Craig McGraw, Ted Nappi and Janet Phillips.

Since January 2019, the two YMCAs have operated under a management services agreement in which The Community YMCA has provided leadership to the YMCA of Western Monmouth County. Laurie Goganzer has been serving as president and CEO of both associations and Jennifer Dunn as chief operating officer. The agreement will continue until the merger takes effect.

“This union creates an exciting opportunity to serve more individuals and families through a shared mission focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Goganzer said. “I am truly grateful to our board members, task force and board Chairpersons Stacey DeAlmeida and Jennifer Lakefield for their commitment to the Y mission to make a deeper impact in the communities we serve.”

Combined, the association will have 11 facilities including: health and wellness branches in Freehold, Old Bridge and Red Bank; outdoor day camps in Millstone and Wall; a community center in Freehold; counseling and social services centers in Eatontown, Matawan and the Leonardo section of Middletown; a child care center in Matawan; and administrative offices in Shrewsbury. Additionally, both Ys provide before and after school care services in 40 schools across Monmouth County and The Community YMCA provides therapeutic counseling to children in 53 schools in eastern Monmouth County and parts of Ocean County.

“Coming together will enable both Ys to benefit from shared resources and enhance our ability to respond to vital needs in our communities, including affordable child care, suicide prevention and mental and behavioral health care,” said Lakefield, who will become chair of the new board and chief volunteer officer of the unified Y.

DeAlmeida, incoming first vice president of the new board of directors, noted that since 2000, a growing number of YMCAs across the country have successfully merged and achieved greater community impact and sustainability. “This is an important milestone for The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County. We believe we will only be stronger together,” she said.

The two Ys have a history of collaboration, including once jointly owning and operating YMCA Camp Zehnder, sharing marketing initiatives, and hosting an annual Dr. Martin Luther King event for 31 years.

Dunn, who has been overseeing operations at both Ys noted that “our teams are excited about moving forward as one Y and are already working together to ensure a smooth transition for our members and program participants.”

For more information about The Community YMCA, call 732.671.5505 or visit

For more information about the YMCA Western Monmouth County, call 732.462.0464 or visit

About The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County
The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County are two of the area’s leading nonprofit charities strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Guided by core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, we are dedicated to helping everyone grow in spirit, mind and body regardless of age, income or background. Our programs and services nurture the potential of children and teens, improve health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors. In 2018, we provided $920,00 in financial assistance to strengthen approximately 3,000 families in need. For more information, visit