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October 01, 2015

YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy Honors Award Winner Ralph Steinhardt

Presented by the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance in affirmation of its steadfast commitment to the intrinsic value of diversity and inclusion to healthy YMCAs, and healthy communities.

Thursday October 1, 2015, Ralph was presented with the Martin Bartner Award for his many years of Y leadership in opening new paths of understanding and communication with and within diverse and new groups, leading to extending Y programs and services to more people from diverse backgrounds. The Martin Bartner Award recognizes a diverse YMCA staff or volunteer leader whose efforts epitomize the Y’s core values and dedication to diversity and inclusion.  Through this leadership award the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance also affirms its steadfast commitment to the intrinsic value of diversity and inclusion in YMCAs and the communities we serve. Ralph’s leadership in strengthening partnerships and building new relationships for the greater good of our communities are exceptional examples of Y volunteer leadership at its finest.

Ralph Steinhardt has continually served our YMCA in the capacity of a volunteer since 1990, when he began his tenure on our Board of Volunteers. Ralph worked tirelessly with on our Association’s first Capital Campaign, Campaign Y2000, helping to surpass its goal to fund the construction of additional child care and wellness space at the Metuchen YMCA. Through this expansion Metuchen YMCA increased the YMCA’s capacity to serve its community while making it an ideal candidate to be selected to participate in the YMCA of USA’s Gulick Collaborative. The findings of this collaborative catapulted and reenergized the YMCA movement in its service to Health Seekers, laying the ground work for LiveSTRONG at the YMCA, the Child Care Collaborative and the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, initiatives Ralph has passionately supported to have implemented and sustained  in our Association.

After finishing the Metuchen YMCA expansion project Ralph served on steering committees which brought the YMCA of MEWSA to 2 new communities, Edison and South Amboy. The Edison YMCA is a unique partnership with the JCC of Middlesex County. Ralph championed the Edison YMCA capital campaign, A Bridge to Tomorrow, resulting in raising funds needed to construct the addition to the existing JCC facility in Edison. The addition included wellness and child care space; once again Ralph led the YMCA in responding to the needs of families and those wishing to engage in healthy living activities. The second community to be impacted by Ralph’s foresight and ability to initiate partnerships in service to the community was South Amboy. Ralph worked with Y Volunteers and YMCA staff to forge an agreement with the City of South Amboy which brought a 42,000 square foot YMCA to the historically underserved communities of South Amboy and Sayreville. The South Amboy YMCA is a showcase for YMCA services filling what was once a significant void in youth recreation activities, aquatics and wellness space and programs, and YMCA child care and camp for school aged children.

Ralph’s dedication continues as he currently serves on the YMCA of MEWSA Board of Directors and the Edison YMCA Branch Board.  His work with the Edison YMCA Branch Board has resulted in making nurturing relationships with community members from the South Asian Community a priority. Ralph’s belief in the power of the YMCA movement has allowed the YMCA of MEWSA to positively impact the lives of countless members of the communities we serve. Ralph also currently serves on the Finance, Human Resources and International Committees. Ralph Steinhardt’s contributions to the YMCA are living testimony of “Together, we can achieve so much more.”

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For more information on New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and the Martin Bartner Award, contact Anita Bennison at 609-278-9622.

Katie McAdoo, Director of Association Advancement
YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy