Grant Provides Support for YMCA Community Services 

YMCA WISE Community Services Grant

The Gateway Family YMCA

The Westfield Foundation provided a $5,000 grant to The Gateway Family YMCA in support of WISE Community Services (Wellness, Independence, and Socialization for our Elders). This grant assists the YMCA in providing supportive programs and services for individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive impairments, or other functional challenges, as well as support for their family and caregivers. 

“We are grateful for the support of The Westfield Foundation, and their shared commitment to this unique demographic in our local community,” stated Melynda A. Disla, President and CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “Social isolation is an even greater challenge to these individuals and their families. Through dedicated staff, innovative programming formats, and partners like The Westfield Foundation, we can bridge the gap and ensure that our programs reach those in need.” 

WISE Connect combines health and wellness opportunities with supportive activities, specialized staff and wrap-around resources for caregivers and families. The goal is to keep participants cognitively stimulated, physically active, and socially engaged. Hybrid in-person and virtual activities range from games, puzzles, discussion and arts (journaling, storytelling, painting, poetry, music, movement) to education (healthy living, legal and financial planning, home safety, consumer awareness, aging issues) and exercise (cardio, yoga, resistance, balance, flexibility). WISE Connect uses an innovative format that introduces individuals to the benefits of adult day programs without an often-intimidating commitment. 

Approximately 87% of WISE Community Services participants have some form of dementia. All activities are designed and led by Activities Specialists with years of experience working with this demographic and certified fitness professionals. In addition to services provided to individuals with cognitive or functional impairments, WISE Connect also provides hybrid social work services to their caregivers through support groups, counseling, education, advocacy, information, referrals and ongoing case management. 

The Gateway Family YMCA is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization committed to strengthening community by connecting all people to their potential, purpose and each other. Working locally, the Y focuses on empowering young people, improving health and well-being, and inspiring action in and across communities. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y ensure that all have access to the opportunities, relationships and resources necessary to learn, grow and thrive. 

For more information about The Gateway Family YMCA, visit For information about the WISE Community Services programs, please contact Susan Butler, WISE Community Services Director at 908-349-9622 or

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