BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ, October 6, 2018 – A grey morning did not dampen the turnout or enthusiasm of YMCA members, staff and trustees, township officials, key community partners and residents who gathered at the Berkeley Heights Community Pool on Locust Avenue to celebrate a highly anticipated event in the Summit Area YMCA’s history: the ground breaking for the new Berkeley Heights YMCA and Community Pool.
This new construction will create opportunities to collaborate with local organizations and partners, serve more children, families and seniors, create additional programs of all disciplines and highlight the Y as a community leader in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
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“We have been working on finding a new home in Berkeley Heights since 2009 and we finally found it. Our new facility will help us serve the community in so many different ways for many more years. I’m looking forward to celebrating our grand opening in 2020.” -- Tiffany Escott, Executive Director at the Berkeley Heights YMCA
Saturday morning signified the end of this search and the beginning of a new era at the Summit Area YMCA. Summit Area YMCA President & CEO Paul Kieltyka addressed the crowd with his inspiring words. “It was never about the building, square footage, or the pools – it was about expanding our mission. Expanding our impact. It was about having the ability to really change lives. So what we’re celebrating this morning, in my eyes, is our ability to do this!”
Kieltyka was especially grateful to the Berkeley Heights community including its many residents, YMCA members and the township itself for its unwavering support of the Y mission.
Video Credit: Tapinto Berkeley Heights
He acknowledged Tiffany Escott and her staff, Trustee Yon Cho and the Facilities Committee of the Board, and the Summit Area YMCA Capital Campaign Committee, chaired by Robert Radest. In addition, Kieltyka acknowledged YMCA trustees, Senator Tom Kean, Jr., Berkeley Heights Township Officials, Berkeley Heights residents, YMCA staff members, and business partners: Vericon Construction, USA Architects, Jeffrey Sobel Consulting, Dynamic Engineering, Investors Bank, and GRO, for their help in bringing this project to fruition.
YMCA Trustee Teresa Mendez summed up the sentiment of the morning. “Once again we see the results of a new grassroots movement from the Y, board of Trustees, donors, staff, volunteers, community leaders, and the pillars of the community to create a place where everyone is welcome.”
Video Credit: Tapinto Berkeley Heights
Berkeley Heights Mayor Robert Woodruff and Robert Jeffries, Summit Area YMCA Chairman of the Board, then took to the podium to thank all those who made this day possible. Jeffries shared that the YMCA will be investing over $20 million in this project and the renovation of the Summit YMCA. He shared that to date, the Summit Area YMCA Capital Campaign has secured over $1.4 million in gifts and pledges to the two projects. He thanked supporters of the capital campaign and encouraged other community members to invest in the projects.
To learn more about the Capital Campaign, please visit: www.sayfuture.org
At the conclusion, various groups were called up to the podium to pose in hard hats and shovels, including young children, who will benefit from the new building and community pool. The crowd also enjoyed renderings of the new Y facility. The new facility will feature a childcare center, full-size gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms, three studios, a wellness center, and of course, a brand new outdoor pool.
The Berkeley Heights YMCA continues to be a hub in our community offering valued programs and activities for all ages including childcare, youth and teen programs, fitness classes, special needs programs, Healthy Hearts & Cardiac Rehabilitation, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA and so much more. To learn more about the Berkeley Heights YMCA or becoming a member, please visit: www.thesay.org/joinbh
To read more about this event, visit: TapInto Ground Breaking
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling.