The Hopewell Valley YMCA will be honoring Jean and John Gianacaci on April 25, as the 2014 recipients of the Larry Rothwell Social Responsibility Award.  Given at its annual Spring Gala, the award is in recognition of the extensive community contributions of the founders of Mercer County based charity, Christine’s Hope for Kids.  

The award pays tribute to leaders in the Hopewell Valley community who put service to others as a guiding light and is named after Larry Rothwell of Pennington Quality Market for his longtime support of the YMCA and other causes are are central to the Y’s mission.

Created after the tragic loss of their daughter Christine in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, under the leadership of Jean and John Gianacaci, Christine’s Hope for Kids continues her legacy and desire to help underprivileged children. The mission of the Foundation is to continue Christine’s spirit and loving qualities, to help less fortunate children, and to support local community agencies that work with and benefit children.  They not only want to raise money to support that mission, but also teach and communicate the idea that every person can make a difference each day by helping others and being kind.

In announcing the selection of this year’s recipients, Hopewell Valley YMCA CEO Doug Pszczolkowski noted the importance of service to the YMCA’s youth development programs and said that “Christine’s Hope for Kids provides opportunities for children in our programs to experience the joy of serving others.” Hopewell YMCA students “raise funds and participate in projects for Christine’s Hope for Kids and Christine’s Hope for Kids teaches them the value of service to others and provides financial assistance for those who cannot afford to participate,” noted Pszczolkowski.

The 2014 Gala will start at 7:00pm on Friday, April 25 at TPC Jasna Polana.  Dinner and dancing will follow a cocktail reception and passed hors d’oeuvres.  The event will feature silent and live auctions of items donated by supporters and businesses from across Hopewell Valley.  Proceeds from the fundraiser help support the Y’s mission to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body through programs which promote good health, strong families, youth leadership, and community development. Centered in Pennington, the Hopewell Valley YMCA provides services to the communities of Hopewell Borough, Pennington and Hopewell Township.

Sponsorship and ticket information is available on the Y’s website or at the YMCA offices in Pennington.

The author is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hopewell Valley YMCA.