What the Y provides the community

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For the last 33 years I have been a resident of the Monroe Woodbury community. I have raised my three sons in this area and they, in turn, are now raising my nine grandchildren in this same community. For my family our roots run deep and wide and we have chosen to remain in this area for the long haul.

For the last six years, I have been privileged to be associated with the South Orange Family YMCA, aka SOFY.

Although many see this facility as just a gym, this group is far more than that … it is a family.

At various times my own family have taken advantage of many of the services provided by this amazing organization.

The child watch program gave my grandchildren their first opportunities for socialization. The various youth programs gave my grandchildren a safe place to tryout many of the sport activities they now choose to continue into their teenage years.

The exercise classes have provided many of my family members with a safe and supervised setting to pursue fitness activities.

Through SOFY I have had opportunities to participate in programs to bring activities directly into the community.

As you know, SOFY sponsors and provides health fairs for children and families. This is also an organization that raises funds to assist those that are unable to pay for membership.

We have a program that will forgive two months membership fees for those without work.

We provide space for other community organizations like the Girl Scouts and inspire.

We provide supervised and accredited volunteer and leadership programs for young people in the area.

The Y provides family activity nights.

The Y provides programs for parents to have a night out and know their children are in a safe and supervised space for the evening.

The membership routinely collects food for the local food pantry.

This is a space were those on hard times can sit in the lobby and use shower facilities.

There is a BOCES “English as a Second Language” class that meets here.

Offsite SOFY is providing safe after school programs in many of the area’s public schools. This is only part of the list of services this marvelous organization provides.

That said, this organization is now at a point where expansion of the main facility has become more than obvious.

This amazing group has raised the funds to purchase additional building space and secured a loan to provide more services to our fortunate community.

I say we are fortunate, because this organization is a “not for profit.” The funds raised were given by individuals and businesses in good faith and intention to allow SOFY to continue to enrich our community.

Not only is SOFY needing space, it is also willing to provide a pool for health and fitness opportunities that are so badly needed.

In order to do this, a safe and easy road entrance is required.

The YMCA community has at great expense engineered and met with State, County and Local officials to solve the safety problems that are inherent in the existing location, as well as serve the planned expansion.

All that is needed at this juncture is to be given the approval by the village planning board who have been given the professional plans for a safe and reasonable solution to utilize land owned by the Village of Monroe for a safe crossing over the Heritage Trail, as approved by the state.

Please feel free to request viewing any of this material that has been submitted to the Village Planning Board.

The work already done and submitted for this solution is substantial and can only increase the services to our beloved community.

Anita R. Reich


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