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To the editor:

I want to thank everyone who came out in support of our Hopewell Valley YMCA and helped kicked off the season at our “Spring for the Y” fundraiser on April 29.

This year’s event co-chairs Suzette Belder-Carr and Adriene Presti created an amazing night at a beautiful new venue, the Glenmoore Barn. They and their committee members Annemarie Hofacker, Jude Martin-Cianfano, our CEO Doug Pszczolkowski, and the Y’s other staff and volunteers need to be commended for their role in helping us honor Hopewell Valley Community Bank with our first ever Corporate Community Leadership Award and Kim Bruno with the Larry Rothwell Social Responsibility Award. Since this year marks the 5th anniversary of the Y’s Youth Activity Center (the “YAC”) in Pennington – we could think of no one more deserving of the recognition than Kim, whose hard work made the teen center and countless other community projects a reality.

Thanks to our corporate sponsors, benefactor donors, attendees and scholarship purchasers, our YMCA celebrated Kim’s achievements at the event with a special champagne toast, complete with a beautiful diamond necklace donated by our friends at Orion Jewelry in Pennington.  The generosity of our community displayed at the event allows our Y to continue and expand its charitable mission.  Every day we provide financial assistance to local families in need; a free “YAC” teen center in Pennington; Safety Town camp for children entering kindergarten each year; programs for over 30 special needs athletes; community events including our annual 5K on Pennington Day, MLB Hit Pitch & Run, Halloween parade and this year’s community camp out at St. Michaels; and athletic, dance, swim and enrichment programming for our more than 1,100 members.

I especially want to thank our marque sponsors Tom and Patti Finn, Pennington Quality MarketHopewell Valley Community BankMercerMe.comDahlia Florals, the Glenmoore Barn, Orion Jewelry, the Hamilton Area YMCA, Freeholder John Cimino, Freeholder Sam Frisby, Cream King, Surety Title, Capital Health, Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate and the Front Porch, as well as the amazing support the Y receives from our friends at Christine’s Hope for Kids.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, our staff and the entire Hopewell Valley community, I cannot thank you all enough.  Congratulations to Kim and HVCB – our community and our Y will always be in your debt.

Ryan Kennedy

The author is the president of the Board of Directors for the Hopewell Valley YMCA and contributor to MercerMe.com.

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