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The Gateway Family YMCA

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The Gateway Family YMCA Receives Award for Innovative Senior Programming

Susan Butler, WISE Adult Day Services Director, Honored for Connections Program in Union.

Union, NJ, December 31, 2018 --( Susan Butler, Director of WISE Adult Day Services was presented with the George Williams Special Project Award from the YMCA Professional Network (YPN) Chapter 17 at the Annual Recognition Luncheon in Long Branch, NJ. The George Williams Special Project Award is provided to a staff member who has made an extraordinary contribution to the YMCA by developing a project or activity that is clearly outstanding and noteworthy.

The Gateway Family YMCA’s Connections program is an early intervention program for individuals with Early Stage Dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) provided at the WISE Center YMCA Branch in Union, NJ. Research shows that individuals diagnosed with early stage dementia can slow their physical, mental and psychological decline by actively participating in regular exercise programs. Combining health and wellness opportunities with mutual support among members in the program, the goal is to slow the progression of the disease and keep members engaged in the community.

“The Connections program is an example of how innovative and unique programming can strengthen a YMCA’s commitment to service all in the local community. Through this program, our Y is able to improve the health and well-being of those in the local community who otherwise would not be able to participate in typical YMCA programs, or many other local community programs,” said Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA.

“For 35 years, Susan has provided leadership and service to the community. The WISE Center YMCA Branch impacts the lives of people with physical challenges and memory impairment as well as their caregivers by providing a warm, loving and supportive environment with dedicated staff so that each can live life to the fullest,” said Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO. “In addition to the Connections Program and WISE Adult Social Day Services program, Susan also leads a monthly Alzheimer’s NJ Caregivers Support Group and Bereavement Support Group. It is through her leadership, knowledge and experience that the Connections program was designed and implemented as a program for The Gateway Family YMCA.”

The W.I.S.E. (Wellness, Independence and Socialization for our Elders) Adult Day Services Program is a social opportunity designed to help adults maintain their independence and improve their quality of life through activities designed to meet their special needs. Caregivers are provided a necessary respite while their loved ones are cared for in a safe, secure and supportive environment.

The Gateway Family YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community and stands For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility. The Y impacts the community by providing quality services to people of all ages, races, faiths or incomes. The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life joined together by a shared passion: to strengthen the foundations of community.

For more information about The Gateway Family YMCA or the WISE Center YMCA Branch, visit or contact 908-687-2995.
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The Gateway Family YMCA
Colleen Clayton

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