Volunteer Recognition Our volunteers are priceless.
2014 VolunTeen Program
Through this program, high school students have an opportunity to gain valuable and rewarding work experience while fulfilling community service hours. The program runs from July 7 through August 4 and is open to students who are 14–16 years old.
WEEK 1: JULY 7 - JULY 11
The Summit Free Public Library
Serve as youth advisors, assist with children's programs, and assist library staff with the daily operations of the library.
WEEK 2: JULY 14 - JULY 18
Provide assistance in the ‘Spend a Day’ medical day care center helping with activities, serving lunch and providing companionship during the day.
WEEK 3: JULY 21 - JULY 25
Provide support in various departments including: Aquatics, KidZone, Summer Camp, Member Services and others.
WEEK 4: JULY 28 - JULY 31
Visual Arts Center
Assist with preparing art classes, assisting teachers in the classroom, distributing lunch/ snacks, overseeing lunch periods, helping with art exhibitions and more.
WEEK 5: AUGUST 4
VolunTeen evaluations and Wrap-Up Pizza Party.
Volunteer of the Month - June 2014
We're pleased to announce the Summit YMCA volunteer of the month for June is Divya Prasad. Divya has been volunteering since November 2013. Miss Divya, as she is affectionately referred to by the children she teaches and cares for, is an amazing volunteer at the Summit YMCA’s Child Care program! She plays games with the kids, assists with daily activities, reads to the children, and monitors their lunchtime. Both the children and the staff love having Divya volunteer.
Divya lives in Short Hills with her husband and middle school-aged daughter. She moved to the United States six years ago from India, where she was a practicing Child Clinical Psychologist.
Divya has always loved children, so after becoming acclimated to her new culture, she decided she wanted to volunteer with children at the Summit YMCA. Divya loves volunteering with children because they help to bring out her inner child. She can have fun, act silly, and gain a new perspective by seeing things through their eyes. Through her work and interactions, she is able to observe how children in the United States function adaptively in today’s environment and can relate it to her studies in Child Psychology.
Divya has been a strong asset to the Summit YMCA’s Child Care program and we are fortunate to have a volunteer as dedicated and knowledgeable as Divya. We thank Divya for her time, commitment, and the enthusiasm that she continuously brings to our Summit YMCA!
Her last day with us was Wednesday, June 18. Please join us in congratulating Divya on her outstanding volunteer service!
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Mother's Day 5K Race Volunteers
On Sunday, May 11, 80 volunteers convened on Memorial Field in Berkeley Heights to set up and facilitate nearly 1000 racers. These volunteers lined the course giving racers refreshing water and words of encouragement. The race could not have been successfully completed without them. We'd like to recognize the following people for their volunteerism:
|Amanda O'Connor ||Joanne Freese ||Nadya Lawrence |
|Andrew Ippolito ||Jodi English ||Nakita Cook-Young |
|Anna Pitingolo ||Joe Steiner ||Nancy Graham |
|Aubrey Reichard-Eline ||Julianne Simmons ||Nikki Lehnert |
|Caitlin Jensen ||Kaitlyn Escott ||Pam Steiner |
|Cathy Bell ||Kathy Bell ||Patrick Jensen |
|Cathy Pitingolo ||Katie Mazzaferro ||Pat Ohleth |
|Ceci Aristizabal ||Kelsey Baldwin ||Patty O’Byrne |
|Charlie Mazzucco ||Kim Baldwin ||Philomena Cerciello |
|Cheryl Worobetz ||Kisha Belton ||Renee Rehfuss |
|Chris Procaccini ||Lana Gantner ||Rich Maybe |
|Damon Vaugan ||Larrie Graham ||Risa Gorelick |
|Debbie Mazzucco ||Lisa Garrity ||Robert Lombardi |
|Eileen Morris ||Lisa McQuilkin ||Rod Chubb |
|Emily Aprea ||Lucinda Mercer ||Sandra Mackenzie |
|Erika Schumann ||Lynn Falanga ||Shawnette Cruz |
|Gail Nelson ||Marcella Gencarelli ||Stewart Douglas |
|Heather Worthy ||Marcus Jackson ||Sue Fieseler |
|Holly O’Byrne ||Marilyn Esnes ||Tatyana Sieriant |
|Holly Sylvestri ||Mark Mackenzie ||Ted Eldracher |
|Jackie Ippolito ||Megeen Laska ||Thad Russell |
|Janet Russell ||Meme Harris ||Tiffany Escott |
|JD Bennett ||Michelle Tissot ||Tracey Hughes |
|Jeanine Costa ||Midge Meyerowitz ||Tracy Wanamaker |
|Jennifer Lombardi ||Mike DelDuca ||Urvi Patel |
|Jessica Rehfuss ||Mike Kilkenny ||Weiying Wang |
|Jim Pitingolo ||Monica Callaghan || |
Do you have a special skill or talent that you would like to share with us? The YMCA of Summit is always looking to provide fun and entertaining opportunities to enhance our member’s experience.
At the Summit Area YMCA we value the time and care given by our dedicated volunteers. Each month we select a recipient to receive a Volunteer of the Month Award and highlight this individual on our Volunteer Wall or Recognition as well as host events during National Volunteer Week. We dedicate this page to recognizing all that you do.
The Summit Area YMCA, which includes the Summit YMCA, the Berkeley Heights YMCA and The Learning Circle YMCA, is successful due to the contributions of our wonderful volunteers. These volunteers exemplify YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. We are blessed and honored to have such dedicated volunteers as part of our YMCA family. DOWNLOAD a volunteer application form DOWNLOAD A SPECIAL EVENT VOLUNTEER APPLICATION FORM
2013 VolunTeen Program
Through this program, high school students have an opportunity to gain valuable and rewarding work experience while fulfilling community service hours. The program runs from July 8th through August 2nd and is open to students who are 14–16 years old.
Week #2: Summit Area YMCA Summer Camp
Summer camp is an experience that can transform the lives of many children. It expands their world, introduces them to new interests, and enriches their lives with new friends.
This week, the VolunTeens are helping counselors at the Summit Area YMCA Summer Camp. They are contributing their time and talent to help make the summer camp experience even more fun and enriching for the children. And in doing so…they’re having fun themselves!
What I’ve Learned…
“Working with kids is so much fun. I love their innocence and smiles. I have two ‘little buddies’ in my group who like to hold my hand. It makes me feel good inside.” ~ Ashley, Junior at New Providence High School
“There is one little girl who was homesick when her mom dropped her off. I told her how much fun we would have and played games with her to cheer her up. At the end of the day, she said she didn’t want to leave. I love that she had fun and that I helped make her happy.” ~ Kelle, Junior at Millburn High School
“Helping the kids is great. I love their energy level, and you can tell they are having a good time. It’s nice to know we are helping them have fun at camp.” ~ Andy, Junior at New Providence High School
“What I like best is talking to the kids. How often do they get to talk to a 16-year old? I feel like it makes a difference in their lives because you are giving them a friend, someone to talk to, and someone to look up to.” ~ Raj, Junior at Millburn High School
“I sort of forgot how rowdy, excited and fun kids can be. Helping at camp has unlocked the inner kid in me!” ~ John, Junior at Millburn High School
Week #1: Commemorative Bricks at Summit City Hall
The Summit City Hall courtyard has almost 1000 bricks that were purchased to commemorate families, loved ones and the city itself. Currently, the City of Summit does not have a diagram of where each brick has been placed…until now.
Together, the Summit Area YMCA VolunTeens worked throughout the week to create a map of the bricks by listing the names on each brick along the pathway. The new map will assist the city to direct brick “owners” to the location of their brick in the courtyard. The City of Summit is grateful to the VolunTeens for their contributions to the brick identification project.
What I’ve Learned…
“By volunteering on this project, I hope I have helped by allowing the people, who would have been assigned to this, to do more important things.” - Ashley, Junior at New Providence High School
“This project has taught me to be more aware of my surroundings, to care for them, and to help with the betterment of the community.” Andy, Junior at New Providence High School
“These bricks represent the people and the history of Summit. It’s nice to know we are helping to remember the past, to preserve history and to preserve these memories for families.” Raj, Junior at Millburn High School
“This summer, I wanted something to do that wasn’t focused on ‘self’. When you volunteer, you may not have a chance to see the direct results. But, it’s rewarding to know that people feel good about something you did to help.” – John, Junior at Millburn High School
2013 Volunteers of the Year
On Wednesday, June 12th Y staff, volunteers, donors and community members gathered for the Summit Area YMCA Annual Meeting. The event celebrates volunteers who have invested their time, talent and treasure to make significant contributions to the Y. This year we were proud to honor two volunteers from each branch of the Summit Area YMCA. Volunteers were selected based on two categories:
Mission Advancement Volunteer: This volunteer plays a lead role in advancing the Y mission within the community by sharing information about Y initiatives with other community leaders and helps to broker strategic partnerships and collaborations to meet community needs.
Living Our Cause Volunteer: This volunteer participates in a leadership capacity by serving as a member of a branch board, board committee or special event planning committee and acts as a storyteller to help raise funds to support the Y cause.
Mission Advancement Volunteer - Berkeley Heights YMCA
Peter is a very loyal and devoted volunteer for the Berkeley Heights YMCA. He began to volunteer three years ago, and currently he serves as the branch board president, the branch representative for the Board of Trustees, as well as participating in the Summit Area YMCA facilities committee. Peter also volunteers his time for Y special events and to advance the Annual Campaign. Peter shares his passion for the Y with others and has been instrumental in spreading the word about the Y’s mission to outside organizations and businesses and creating small communities, such as the Jennings Gym Rats, within our Y.
Living Our Cause Volunteer - Berkeley Heights YMCA
Ann Garrity believes whole-heartedly in the mission of the Y - the reason she has been a volunteer for 7 years running. Through her volunteerism, she witnesses the impact that the Y has on the community. As campaign chair, she shares Y stories with volunteers, members and others in the community to help them better understand the depth and breadth of the programs and services the Y offers to help everyone learn, grow and thrive. Her fervor for giving back and making a difference is woven into the fabric of her personality and infused in her storytelling. She is a wonderful advocate for the Y.
Mission Advancement Volunteer - The Learning Circle YMCA
Teresa has incredible energy, enthusiasm and commitment to helping people in need. As a leader in Summit’s Spanish speaking community, Teresa is an invaluable resource for young families in need of safe, quality childcare. For the last four years, Teresa has been an avid and active campaigner for the Y’s Annual Campaign. Additionally, she serves on the Branch Advisory Board (2011 and 2012) and volunteers as a translator in individual and group settings to inform and guide parents regarding their child’s progress, financial assistance, and curriculum. Teresa’s passion for and belief in the Y is demonstrated in her significant contributions to advancing the Y mission in the Summit community and beyond.
Living Our Cause Volunteer - The Learning Circle YMCA
Michael shares his passion for education, his love of reading and his belief in youth development with the TLC YMCA children. As a retired history teacher, Michael truly understands the value of a strong education. He believes it is important that to remain connected to the community and reinforce the importance of education and reading. For the past 3 years Michael has volunteered at TLC YMCA by reading books to the children every Friday. His actions and his personality exemplify the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility and, as a result, he is an excellent role model for the children.
Mission Advancement Volunteer - Summit YMCA
A member of the Summit YMCA since 1999, Kevin has been a volunteer for our annual campaign for the last 5 years and he joined the board 3 years ago. Every day, Kevin lives the mission of the Y. He is a firm believer in sharing Y stories and educating everyone he meets about the Y’s impact in the community. Kevin initiated monthly meetings with other community leaders to deepen our collaborations and networks. Kevin’s enthusiasm, optimism and zeal for giving back are infectious. During each visit to the Y, he shares his gratitude for the staff and the work the Y does by offering his thanks and kind words.
Living Our Cause Volunteer - Summit YMCA
Stephanie has been an active member of the board for 2 years now and recently joined our ACHIEVE committee and our Laugh Out Loud Comedy Event committee. Each day, in her work as a realtor, Stephanie educates her clients on what the Y does and how it important it is to the community. She enthusiastically gets involved and inspires others to get involved, as well – a true advocate for the Y. Despite Stephanie’s busy schedule, she always finds time to contribute to the Y – and most often, she goes over and above. She is thoughtful, passionate, selfless and incredibly humble.
L'Oreal Volunteers at the Berkeley Heights YMCA
On Friday, June 14, 2013 volunteers from L'Oreal gave their time and talents to spruce up the Berkeley Heights YMCA. These energetic volunteers painted not one, but two stretching rooms and spread mulch so our surrounding trees, shrubs and flowers could grow tall and strong. A special thanks to all who participated and worked to coordinate this extraordinary effort. We couldn't do it without you!
Mother's Day 5K Race Volunteers
On Sunday, May 12, 2013 100 volunteers convened on Connell Corporate Park to set up and facilitate over 600 racers. These volunteers kept our racers going with positive encouragement. The race could not have been successfully completed without them. We'd like to recognize the following people for their volunteerism:
|Aristizabal, Ceci ||Hoess, Jill ||O'byrne, Holly |
|Bakos, Stephanie ||Hurvich, Juliet ||O'Byrne, Patty |
|Bell, Kathy ||Ippolito, Andrew ||O'Byrne, Ray |
|Broch, Monica ||Ippolito, Jackie ||O'Connor, Amanda |
|Carlin, Kelly ||Jackson, Marcus ||Pacheco, Jaun |
|Carlin, Melissa ||Jensen, Patrick ||Pacheco, Victoria |
|Clinton, Hailey ||Johnston, Darrell ||Parisacn, Chris |
|Clinton, Joe ||Kilkenny, Mike ||Petruzzi, Cliff |
|Clinton, Mallory ||Knapp, Kaitlyn ||Petruzzi, Jeanette |
|Clinton, Terri ||Kohan, Jenn ||Pitingolo, Cathy |
|Daume, Hal ||Krasney, Peter ||Pitingolo, Jim |
|Deveiga, Fred ||Krasny, Ann ||Podolski, Peter |
|Duwalt, Alec ||Kress, Linda ||Poliowada, Carri |
|Eldracher, Ted ||Larkin, Mandy ||Powell, Terry |
|English, Jodi ||Lehner, Nickki ||Pratt, Christa |
|Escott, Steve ||Liesch, Jennifer ||Priest, Patty |
|Escott, Tiffany ||Loeser, Mary ||Quinn, John |
|Espiscopo, Monica ||Manganelli, Bill ||Quinn, Marie |
|Feeney, Bob ||Manning, Vicki ||Rehfuss, Jessica |
|Feeney, Jo Ann ||Marinaccio, Maria ||Roof, Gina |
|Fiesler, Sue ||Matthes, Nick ||Rosencrantz, Joey |
|Fronzo, Gregory ||Maybe, Rich ||Sausville, Linda |
|Garrity, Lisa ||Mazzucco, Carley ||Scheinholtz, Eli |
|Gay, Lori ||Mazzucco, Caroline ||Schreiberman, Laurie |
|Gerecht, Amanda ||Mazzucco, Charlie ||Sharpiro, Mike |
|Goldberg, Lia ||Mazzucco, Debbie ||Steiner, Pam |
|Green, Ann ||McCormack, Anjali ||Tarantello, Eric |
|Guber, Susan ||McMahon, Jenny ||Vargo, Ryan |
|Haines, Sierra ||Mercer, Lucinda ||Worobetz, Chreyl |
|Hansen, Joanne ||Monaghan, Lisa ||Worthy, Heather |
|Hanson, Chistina ||Mumick, Harvin ||Yacos, Leah |
|Harris, Gerry ||Nelson, Gail ||Zerweck, Laura |
|Harris, Louise ||Nieves, Nicole || |
|Harris, Meme ||Nolting, Maria || |
Volunteer of the Month, Berkeley Heights YMCA, Charlotte Jakub
When we asked Charlotte why she volunteers, she said," I wanted to volunteer in some capacity because I had time to give. I came across this opportunity on the “Y” website and knew that reading to preschoolers would be fun and rewarding”. I enjoy giving back to the community. The honesty and open hearts of young children is a gift to observe and be connected to even if it’s only for a few days a week.Thank you for your commitment of service! Berkeley Heights Branch
Volunteer of the Month, Summit YMCA - Jacob Choi
- Jacob is well-regarded for his outstanding dedication to the Summit YMCA Aquatics department. We are fortunate to have Jacob volunteering within our department for the two years now, during which he has become an important member of our staff. His consistency, hard work, and modesty are traits admired by everyone. We welcome Jacob for his commitment and thank him for his contribution to the aquatics program and our Y!
Here is Jacob’s Y story: My name is Jacob Choi and I will be turning 17 this November and will begin my junior of high school. I live in Short Hills; enjoy playing the clarinet, reading, swimming and lifeguarding of course. One day I’m looking to become a journalist or a lawyer. I heard about volunteering at the Y from my brother who also volunteered when he was in high school. When he told me about it, I thought it would be a fun experience for me as well. I have been volunteering at the YMCA for two years now and what I most enjoy about volunteering is that I have a sense of responsibility and I get to work with a whole team of people who have a duty to help others and their community. It’s also perfect for what I love doing most: swimming! My experience at the Y has been very rewarding.
Volunteer of the Month, Summit YMCA - Mary Koutoudis
Mary first volunteered in December 2011 and immediately became an integral part of the Members Services team. She chose the Y because she wanted to become more involved with an organization that had respect for people of all backgrounds and cultures, and the Y’s reputation and integrity brought her to the Summit Y.
“The YMCA lets people know they have a place to go and that they can become part of a family and community. At the Y, people care for and root for each other to succeed and I like that positive attitude. Volunteering at the Y enables me to help someone by lifting their spirits and letting them know they are at a place where they’ll feel important and at home.”
Mary’s connection to the Y comes from my dad who grew up in Newark, and is now 83. When he was young and when he and his buddies were out of school in the summer, they would walk all the way to Summit and pay a quarter to use the Y. “Back then, there weren’t highways to cross- just a lot of fields” she says with a laugh.
Volunteers like Mary are the lifeblood of non-profit organizations like the Y. Recently a member commented on Mary’s presence and the impact she has on those around her “She’s sunshine and a gentle breeze rippling through the flowers, a true delight!”
Volunteer of the Month, Summit YMCA- Kairas Mistry
“I’ve thought about teaching ESL for many years. When the Y provided an opportunity to volunteer for the ESL program I jumped at the opportunity as I felt it would give me a feel for the subject.
I was not disappointed. The rewards are many. The pleasure of being able to serve my community, even in a small way, is immeasurable. Perhaps, the biggest reward is what you end up learning from your students. To be able to watch an “aha” moment unfold when some new concept has been mastered is truly gratifying. It’s also fascinating to be able to meet and build relationships with people from diverse cultural, linguistic, and economic backgrounds.
Thanks for the opportunity, Summit Area Y!”
Volunteers in Action
Deloitte volunteers help clean up Summer Camp site area in Watchung Reservation.
Volunteers set up LIVESTRONG garden at the Summit YMCA