YMCA Togetherhood volunteers and staff lend a hand for community initiatives during the pandemic. (Joshua Reed)

Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) has named the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County (the Y) as one of 20 recipients of its annual Awards for Excellence.

YMCA President and CEO Laurie Goganzer and David Thomas unload boxes of donated food to share with greater Monmouth County residents.

The Y was chosen in the Community Service category with Laurie Goganzer, president and chief executive officer, lauded for the organization’s quick adaptation for outreach, additional programs, and community-based projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said: “This year’s Awards for Excellence winners have stepped up to do right for their employees, their communities and New Jersey’s economy. We are truly proud to recognize their notable achievements.”

The Community Service award was given to the Y for leadership in finding solutions to social or economic challenges.

At the start of the pandemic, the Y activated its Togetherhood® program, a volunteer initiative, and partnered with multiple nonprofit organizations to respond to emergent community needs. Scores of Y volunteers helped collect and distribute more than 38,000 meals to needy families across greater Monmouth County. The Y also provided emergency child care services for health care workers, hosted blood drives, and established COVID testing and vaccination sites.

The Y was honored to receive recognition, Goganzer said, noting that the pandemic proved the nonprofit could meet the community’s needs during a crisis and beyond. “Our commitment to serving the community has never been stronger,” Goganzer said. “We believe community collaborations were essential in helping everyone during the height of the pandemic and are critical as we continue to recover.”

“The Y is grateful for our dedicated volunteers and valued partners. Together we are stronger,” Goganzer added.

The NJBIA announces its awards each year in October, honoring member companies and business leaders for their outstanding achievements. NJBIA highlights companies and leaders with vision and energy that have a lasting impact with their employees, their communities and the state’s economy.

About YMCA of Greater Monmouth County
YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is here for all – to empower youth and teens, improve health and strengthen community. A leading nonprofit charity, the Y unites 36,000 people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds. During the pandemic, we responded to vital community needs, providing more than $735,000 in relief services. Our life-changing programs and services are anchored in 10 communities: health and wellness facilities in Freehold Township, Old Bridge and Red Bank; outdoor day camps in Millstone and Wall; a community center in Freehold Borough; counseling and social service centers in Eatontown, Matawan and Middletown; childcare centers in Freehold Township, Matawan and Red Bank; and integrated in nearly 100 schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties. We’re based in Shrewsbury, NJ. Learn more at