Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA Kicks Off Annual Campaign to Help Community

(above, l-r) Andy Calamaras, Board Chair; Kim Decker, Chief Executive Officer of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA; and Julie Stiffler, Board Fundraising Chair, at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Y’s 2020 Annual Campaign Kick Off on January 30.

YMCA Annual Campaign to Help Community Members in Need

Around 75 people attended and heard impact stories from local residents

Submitted by Andrea Ganzman

The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA (FSPY) kicked off its Annual Campaign on Thursday, January 30,2020, with an event at the Scotch Hills Country Club. Around 75 people attended and learned about the YMCA’s Annual Campaign through stories of those who have been helped by it.

The Annual Campaign is the YMCA’s yearly fundraising initiative that helps to support their financial assistance program. Last year, FSPY gave out almost $400,000 to support a number of programs and services, including: membership; 7th Grade Initiative program; chronic disease prevention programs; child care; day camp; aquatics, and more.

“The financial assistance is an extraordinary help to my family,” said Jessica, one of the night’s speakers, whose son has participated in the Y’s Preschool, Camp and School Age Child Care programs. “The Y has such a nice environment. The people are really kind. At the Y, I feel like you can trust people. They really work with love, with kindness.”

This year, FSPY’s goal is to raise at least $125,000 so they can help more people in our community like Jessica and her family. With the Y’s services and support, Jessica knows her son is in a safe, supportive environment, while she is at work. Jessica spoke of a few hardships she’s had over the years that has impacted her family financially and how, with the Y’s support, her son is thriving.

“Now that he’s in Kindergarten, he attends morning care at his school through the YMCA, which allows me to work early shifts at my job. He also goes to Vacation Days at the Y, which also allows me to work. Without the financial assistance, I would not be able to afford camp or vacation days. I hope one day, I can pay it forward and help others,” Jessica told the crowd gathered at Scotch Hills.

This year’s FSPY Annual Campaign theme is “Our community is better when we all join together” and is illustrated through puzzle pieces. At the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA, we believe when we work together, we can put the pieces in place to help those in need in our community. The campaign is led by FSPY Fundraising Chair Julie Stiffler, and Board Chair Andy Calamaras.

“At the Y, our goal is to help people develop to their full potential, regardless of financial circumstances,” said Kim Decker, FSPY Chief Executive Officer. “This could be a single parent who needs child care so they can work, an older adult looking to form connections and stay active or a cancer survivor looking to build back their strength. This could be anyone in our community who needs a helping hand.”

To learn more about the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA’s Annual Campaign, please visit All funds raised stay in our community to help those facing financial hardship. Those in need of financial assistance can visit to view the application.

About the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For information on membership or programs, or to request a schedule of classes, please call the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA at 908-889-8880 or visit Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA is located at 1340 Martine Avenue in Scotch Plains.

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