A letter to the community from Summit Area YMCA CEO & President Paul Kieltyka regarding the New Year's Eve fire in Summit.
The Summit Area YMCA takes its responsibility as a community leader quite seriously, as we have been doing so for nearly 140 years. Our mission and service is defined by our community, and in today’s ever changing environment we are always ready to pivot and meet these needs at any time. Whether it’s discretely providing supplemental weekend meals to families who lack them, assisting underserved teens with college and career preparations, encouraging someone to take their first step in the right direction to developing a healthy lifestyle or hosting a donation collection point for those affected by disaster; we stand at the ready.
The fire that occurred this past week was horrific and distressing, especially during the holidays. It reminded us all just how fragile life is and that our everyday comforts should never be taken for granted. While it is no surprise to me that the City of Summit and its amazing residents responded so quickly, loudly and in such a generous fashion, it is extremely heartwarming and proud to witness. The residents affected by the fire will have a challenging road ahead of them, but they can at the least take solace in knowing that their neighbors are behind them to lend a helping hand, in hopes to bring them a little sense of comfort and normalcy.
Our mission statement is defined by three pillars – youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. As a cause-driven organization we take joy in the ability to play any role, big or small, in strengthening our community. Today, we recognize that social responsibility, is more important than two words. It is the belief that giving is much more rewarding than receiving and as seen firsthand is the hallmark of our Summit community. We are eternally grateful for our members, neighbors and staff that not only support their Y - but every single one of its residents.
With over twenty years of experience in the Y movement, Paul is a New Jersey YMCA veteran. He began his career as a Sports Director at the Somerset Hills YMCA and progressed through the movement in leadership positions at the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges and Somerset Valley YMCA. He became President & CEO of the Summit Area YMCA in 2014 and is a life-long Union County resident who brings a unique perspective and understanding of the communities the Y serves. Paul grew up going to the Westfield Y where he experienced first-hand how the Y’s values and mission positively impacted youth and families and continues to be the driving force behind his work. Paul lives in Scotch Plains with his wife Maggie and their two daughters, Megan and Lauren.
Phone: (908) 738-2170