Summit Area YMCA Holds Annual Celebration Of Exemplary Volunteers & More

Summit Area YMCA Holds Annual Celebration Of Exemplary Volunteers & More

2016 marks a special year as two Shuart Reed Memorial Awards will be presented, wherein past years there have been only one per year. The Shuart Reed Memorial Award is presented in grateful memory of Shuart Reed, General Secretary of the Summit Area YMCA, 1935 – 1943. The award is given to those who exemplify his commitment to the betterment of our community. Presented for the first time in 1951 to John B. Sayre, the award has been given, almost annually, to many distinguished members of the greater Summit community. This year, Christopher Birosak and Linda Flanagan, two distinguished individuals with a plethora of experience in their respective fields, will be honored with the Shuart Reed Memorial Award.

With his plethora of finance and investment banking experience, Christopher Birosak served a pivotal role in helping the Summit Area YMCA create a firm foundation for the Y’s Endowment Fund. He was also a devoted volunteer for the organization’s Annual Campaign, which raises funds to provide financial assistance to those in need in the community. Linda Flanagan, a dedicated high school track and cross country coach as well as longstanding positive role model for young women, has used her passion and work to lead the Y into creating meaningful and groundbreaking programming for youth to help them learn, grow and thrive.

Mission Advancement Volunteers play 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. Mission Advancement Volunteers for 2016 are Robert D’Egidio of the Berkeley Heights YMCA, Charlotte Bashforth of the Summit YMCA, and Matthew Gigliotti of The Learning Circle YMCA.

Living Our Cause Volunteers participate 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. Recipients of the Living Our Cause Volunteer awards are Paul Neuwirth of the Berkeley Heights YMCA, Norman Sanyour of the Summit YMCA, and Jesse Reyes of The Learning Circle YMCA.

The Annual Celebration also honors esteemed youth members. Our 2016 Youth of the Year is Pablo Carvajal for his outstanding community service, leadership and commitment to our Y. He was an integral part to the 7th Grade Taskforce and Middle school Focus Committee that helped develop new youth programs, events and volunteer activities. Graduating teens from the Achievers program, a college preparatory program at the Summit Area YMCA, are also honored. Emani Miles as well as Ife Campbell were celebrated and will be attending university in the fall of 2016. Emani is active at Summit High School where she is a magna cum laude student and an athlete who plays on the high school softball team and is captain of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team. She is also president of the Black Student Union and involved with Student Council and Poetry Club. She will attend Seton Hall University in the Fall and expects to major in Political Science. In the Fall, Ife will enroll in the University of New Haven, CT where she plans to become a Forensic Psychologist and serve as an expert witness in court proceedings.

The Summit Area YMCA held its Annual Celebration to honor exemplary Y volunteers on Wednesday, June 8 at the Grand Summit Hotel. This annual event congregated over 100 staff, volunteers, and community members to celebrate the amazing work, resources, talent and time they share with the Summit Area YMCA.

Our volunteers dedicate their time and talent towards making the community stronger through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. They provide invaluable contributions through development of meaningful programs and events like the Parkinson’s Exercise & Balance program or the Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk, which raises funds for our cancer recovery program, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA.

The Summit Area YMCA is one of area’s leading 501©3 organizations. Our programs and services are open to all through our financial assistance programs made possible through the generosity of our members, donors, staff and partners. To help us help others, please make your donation today at