South Orange YMCA gearing up for a Feb. 7 opening

| 22 Feb 2012 | 04:42

    Feb. 5 'Taste of Orange’ evening part of special preview activities MONROE - After three years in the making, the South Orange YMCA is gearing up to for its February opening with a ribbon cutting and special preview on Saturday, Feb. 5, beginning at 6:30 p.m. More than 200 families have already joined the Y, located on the Gilbert Street Extension off of Route 208, since membership sales were launched in December. Doors officially open on Monday, Feb. 7, at 5:30 a.m. “For sure, this has been a long time coming,” said William Fioravanti, the Y’s associate executive director. “We’ve had lots of positive feedback and now this is the opportunity for residents to embrace this Godsend for the community. This is a family place, and that’s why we’re in Monroe.” Officials said the December “pre-sales” rates will continue through Feb. 6 and are designed to encourage families to take advantage of the discounts offered and save some cash. The goal continues to be to secure as close to 300 to 400 membership “units,” when the facility opens. A “unit” can be an individual, or a family - no matter the size. For example, monthly family rates are normally $55, but are $47 through Feb.6, saving a household $206 - plus the waiving of an enrollment fee - for one year if the annual membership in paid in full next month. “Almost everything is included in your membership,” said Fioravanti. “People don’t realize that.” Linda Cellini, the Y’s development director, said 40 local full and part-time people have been hired for the wide range of planned programming. She expects the Y to be adding an additional 60 full and part-time positions shortly. “We’re not coming in here as a cookie cutter,” said Fioravanti about the Y’s programs. “It doesn’t work that way. We are engaging the community to learn about their wants and needs. We’re talking to groups and schools and individuals and PTAs.” Fioravanti said there will be guest membership opportunities so families can come in and take part in activities to get a taste of what the Y is all about before they officially sign-up. “When you look about the money, it’s about value,” added Fioravanti. “And the time that families will spend together here, that’s priceless.”

    People sometimes think of the Y as a gym, but it’s not. They need to think of it as a community center.” Linda Cellini, director of development for the South Orange YMCA in Monroe

    “Taste of South Orange” restaurants and shop participants
    Taste some of the signature dishes offered by these area dining establishments and food shops at the Feb. 5 “Taste of Orange” at the ribbon cutting for the new South Orange YMCA: A Taste of India, Bagel Boys, Best of Little Italy, Lady Fingers and Mina’s Spanish Restaurant.
    Restaurants and specialty food shops who want to join in on this event can call 783-YMCA (9622) or 956-1550.

    If you go
    South Orange YMCA ribbon cutting and sneak preview, featuring “A Taste of South Orange,” takes place Saturday, Feb 5, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
    Tickets: $60 per person or $100 per couple. Casual attire encouraged.
    Tours will be offered every 30 minutes throughout the evening beginning at 7 p.m.
    To buy tickets or to get more information about membership plans, call 782- YMCA (9622) or 956-1550.