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Red Bank, NJ  – President and CEO of The Community YMCA, Lisa Christian, announced recently at the Y's Strong Kids Campaign celebration a new swim program for third graders in Red Bank. More than 50 volunteers and staff attended the celebration May 4 at the Y’s Family Health & Fitness Center, Red Bank, to mark the achievements of the annual campaign, which provides support to over 3,000 children and families in the community.

Christian highlighted a number of new programs the Y will be able to offer the community as a result of the campaign including: the Y’s Red Bank Healthy Kids membership, a free membership open to all kids in Red Bank in grades kindergarten through 8, and a new summer camp opportunity for children in Neptune and Asbury Park at the Martin Luther King Church, Neptune.

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Photo: Y staff visit 3rd grade students at Red Bank Charter School to review the basics of water safety as part of the new 3rd Grade Swim Program.

As part of their commitment to ensuring a safe summer for children in our community, the Y’s new swim program, which began this week, will provide four swim lessons to 120 third graders at Red Bank Primary School and Red Bank Charter School during May and June. Additionally, the Y hosted a water safety assembly at both schools.

“These are just a few of the many ways that we are able to make a difference in children’s lives and give back to the communities we serve,” said Christian.

The Y’s annual Strong Kids Campaign helps bring about lasting and meaningful change to individuals, children and families in the local community. The campaign helps fund scholarships for individuals and families to participate in Y programs such as youth sports, before and after school programs, employment skills training, summer camp, teen leadership programs and more.

Benefiting from the Y with a scholarship to attend Camp Arrowhead is 12-year old Zachary Prottsman of Middletown. His mother, Sandra, spoke at the event about the positive difference and support that Zachary has received at the Y.

The annual campaign was led by Carol Stillwell of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc. and Steve Bidgood, Regional Partner of the Salt Creek Grille in Rumson. The two reported at the event that the Y is at 70% of their goal for the 2011 campaign, which ends in August.

For more information or to donate, visit www.TheCommunityYMCA.org.