Fundraising Drive Supports Health & Well-Being of Community 

Red Bank, NJ  – The Community YMCA, serving 20,000 children and families in Monmouth County, launched its annual Strong Kids Campaign last night at the Family Health & Wellness Center in Red Bank. With a goal of $560,000 in a 10-week period, the annual campaign is the Y’s most significant effort to raise funds that enable over 500 children and families access to Y programs and services that nurture youth development and encourage healthy living.

“Financial donations from area residents and businesses help keep the Y available to the kids and families who need us the most,” said Rich Ayres, Interim President and CEO. “As a nonprofit organization, we never turn away anyone who needs us, and we count on the generosity of the community to help us keep that promise.”

Proceeds from the Strong Kids Campaign directly support YCares, a financial assistance program that provides reduced fees to children and families for essential Y services such as childcare and counseling, as well as summer camp, teen leadership programs, swim lessons, youth sports and recreation, and health and wellness programs.

Crystal LaRocca, a Middletown grandmother raising three grandchildren, is grateful for the support that has enabled her grandkids to learn and grow at Camp Arrowhead every summer for the past several years. The oldest, 14-year-old Angelo, said at last night’s event that he looks forward to sharing the values and lessons he has learned at Camp Arrowhead by serving as a counselor in training this summer, working alongside camp counselors to ensure a fun and safe experience for kids.

Campaign Co-Chairpersons Carol Stillwell, a Y trustee, and Steve Bidgood, a Y board director, encourage everyone in the community to support the Y with a donation or by volunteering time.

“When you give to the Y, you help to strengthen our community and move us all forward,” Stillwell said. “And most importantly, support to the Y will help ensure that every child who wants to go to summer camp, who hasn’t learned to swim yet, or needs a safe place to go after school, can do so,” Stillwell said.

In addition to the support that children and families receive from YCares, donations to the Strong Kids Campaign help the Y underwrite broader community safety and healthy living initiatives including free swim lessons for third-grade students in Red Bank, free health and wellness memberships for all Red Bank schoolchildren in grades K-8 and for cancer survivors participating in LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a physical activity and well-being program.

Donations to the Y can be made online at For information on supporting the Y, contact Stephanie Ferrier, Senior Vice President of Development at 732.671.5505, ext. 19 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..