RED BANK: CYMCA NAMES NEW LEADERS

Jennifer Lakefield has been named as the new Chairperson of the Board, for the Shrewsbury-based nonprofit The Community YMCA.  (Photo by PeterMurphy)

Press release from The Community YMCA

In an annual meeting that took place on June 14 at the Monmouth Boat Club in Red Bank, The Community YMCA named several Red Bank area residents to official positions, and elected Jennifer Lakefield as chairperson and chief volunteer officer of the Shrewsbury-based nonprofit’s Board of Directors.

A resident of Colts Neck and managing director of Red Bank-based ZAIS Group, Lakefield will provide leadership to the 20-member board, which sets strategic direction and policy to guide the Y’s work of strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. She succeeds Joseph Oriolo of Shrewsbury, and will serve a two-year term ending in 2019.

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STUDENTS GO OFF THE DEEP END AT THE Y

y-swimmers11Swimming lessons for borough third-graders were offered as part of a larger program to expand the Community YMCA’s public outreach. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Here’s a stat you might think unlikely for a riverside town like Red Bank, just a short drive from the beach: 95 percent of third-grade students in its charter and primary schools did not know how to swim, according to the Community YMCA.

That began to change over the past month.

On Thursday, the Y held the last of a series of free, month-long swimming lessons for all borough third-graders. And what a difference that month made.

“The first week, everybody was very tense. We had to hold some kids’ hands. A couple of the kids in level one would hold on for dear life,” said Rebecca Rivera, the Y’s safety coordinator. “And now they’re jumping right in.”

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YMCA AMPING UP THE OUTREACH

lisa-christianThe Y’s new executive director, Lisa Christian, outside her Middletown office. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was anything but a smooth, low-stress transition for Lisa Christian when she stepped into her role as the Community YMCA‘s president and CEO in June.

“It’s been interesting,” Christian said. “I started the job and went into two litigation discussions (with Red Bank). That’s a very unusual component in a new job.”

Now that those two lawsuits the Y filed against Red Bank — one over the zoning board’s rejection of a proposed expansion, and another over the sale of the previously borough-owned building at 51 Monmouth Street — are poised to end amicably, Christian can focus her efforts where she wants: the community the Y serves.

“I think our donors and our supporters, and even the people who aren’t very close to us, are very happy that The Y is not going to be spending time in court, but doing what we’re supposed to be doing,” Christian said.

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