Shrewsbury, NJ (Dec. 18, 2017) – Pastor James L. Gate III will be the keynote speaker at the 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Breakfast hosted by The Community YMCA and The YMCA of Western Monmouth County.  The annual YMCA event, which honors the legacy of the civil rights leader, will take place Monday, January 15, 2018, 8 to 10 a.m., at Branches Catering, 123 Monmouth Road, West Long Branch.

“Dr. King said, ‘Greatness is determined by service’. In that spirit, the Y continues to strengthen individuals and our community,” said Laurie Goganzer, President & CEO of The Community YMCA.

Sharon Halpin, Interim President & CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, said: “We are proud to be part of an organization that is committed to strengthening community, and there is no better message about the legacy of service than Dr. King.”

Pastor James L. Gates III, affectionately known as “Jamie,” is a native of Neptune, New Jersey, and presently employed with the Newark Public School System as a journeyman in the Glazier’s Union #1009. In February 1998, he accepted the call to ministry and became a licensed Minister under the pastorate of Rev. James H. Brown Sr. of the United Fellowship Baptist Church in Asbury Park. In his desire for truth and understanding of the word of God he pursued his biblical studies at New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 2004. He served as the Youth Minister for 10 years at United Fellowship where he helped to build “Youth of Purpose, Power and Praise.”

In July of 2014, Rev. Gates was called to lead the congregation of New Hope Baptist of Toms River, and subsequently was ordained and installed in November 2014 as the Pastor. His vision has inspired the church to be an effective and relevant, cutting edge, faith-filled body of Christ followers that are committed to biblical truth while addressing the diverse needs of God’s Kingdom.  His vision along with the congregation now serves as a spiritual family that “loves without discrimination, lives by kingdom principles, and leads by example.”

In conjunction with the event, the Ys are sponsoring an Annual Essay Contest that is open to all high school students who participate in YMCA programs. This year, there will be one grand prize winner. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship for their education, as well as a full-year youth membership to The Community YMCA or the YMCA of Western Monmouth County. Further information and an application are available at www.ymcanj.org.

Seating for the breakfast is limited; please RSVP by January 8, 2018. Tickets are $30 per adult, $10 per youth (12 & under) or $250 per table of 10 and are available online at www.ymcanj.org/mlk.

For more information, contact Michelle Born at 732.462.0464, extension 125 or e-mail mborn@ymcanj.org.

 About The Community YMCA
The Y is a leading nonprofit charity that strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Community YMCA serves more than 20,000 residents in greater Monmouth County, NJ through programs such as: preschool, before and after school care, summer day camp, teen leadership, arts enrichment, health and wellness and personal and family counseling. In 2015-16, the Y provided more than $404,000 in financial assistance and program subsidies to strengthen over 1,115 children and families. For more information, visit TheCommunityYMCA.org.

About The YMCA of Western Monmouth County
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For over 120 years, the YMCA of Western Monmouth County has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. In 2016, the YMCA of Western Monmouth County provided over $350,000 in financial assistance to the children, families and seniors of our community.  For more information, visit www.ymcanj.org.