YMCA of Metuchen, Edison Woodbridge and South Amboy honors award-winners Bill Lovett and Mickey Gross

William “Bill” Lovett will be honored with the Charles S. Edgar Memorial Award for his outstanding work with the YMCA and the community.

Lovett is the currently the executive director of The New Jersey Alliance for YMCAs, a not-for-profit association made up of 37 YMCAs from the state of New Jersey. Prior to this position, he was the chief executive officer of the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy from 1988 until his retirement in 2012. In addition to many successful projects to expand the reach of the YMCA during his tenure, Lovett has played an important and active role in the National YMCA Movement, having served on the YMCA of the USA Board of Directors and president of the New Jersey Alliance of YMCAs. He positively impacted the community outside his role as CEO when he led a number of community initiatives including the establishment of wellness programs outside the walls of the YMCA buildings including the Student Fitness Center at Metuchen High School. He gave leadership to the community when establishing the Metuchen Freedom Plaza, a memorial to New Jersey residents who died on Sept. 11, 2001 . He worked effortlessly with the Metuchen Board of Education to institute programs such as the Metuchen High School STAR Awards and Project Graduation. His collaborations with area churches included the organization of six child care programs, as well as the Martin Luther King breakfast. This breakfast brought people together to celebrate the life of Dr. King and featured an essay contest for students focusing on civic responsibility. Lovett was a member of the Livestrong/Lance Armstrong Foundation National Collaborative and chairman of the public policy for the New Jersey Alliance of YMCAs and chairman of the Garden State Executive Network. Lovett is also state program director of the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and leads the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network.

The Charles S. Edgar Award recipient is a person who:

  • demonstrates leadership and is of the highest personal integrity
  • has greatly served the youth of the community
  • exemplifies community spirit at its best
  • has contributed to the community through a variety of organizations and in a variety of roles
  • is responsive to and interested in the work of the YMCA
  • has a record of long-term service
  • is recognized for his or her individual efforts, not on behalf of a group
  • whose acceptance will enrich the tradition of the Charles S. Edgar Memorial Award

The YMCA Peter J. Barnes Jr. Community Champion Award will be presented to Mickey Gross for his outstanding leadership and contribution to the YMCA and to the community as a whole. Michael “Mickey” Gross is currently the head of the Environmental Division of the Middlesex County Health Department, overseeing 25 municipalities. A resident of South Amboy for more than 30 years, Gross serves as chairman to the New Jersey Public Health Council (appointed by Governor Codey in 2005) and as a member of the New Jersey Hospital Planning Board. As a member of the Public Health Council, Gross was the board member who made a motion for stronger immunization reform for all children enrolled in school, which was approved and is a law in New Jersey today.

Gross has been extremely active in South Amboy since he and his wife Susan moved here in 1985. Some of the highlights of his volunteerism are assisting with South Amboy Little League; vice president of the St. Mary’s Athletic Association for seven years; Gross and his wife both serve as board members of the Mavis Music Association of the Visually Impaired for more than 20 years, which provides musical equipment and lessons to the blind who have a desire to learn how to play musical instruments; board member of the Frog Hollow Swim Club for more than 15 years and served for one year as president; during his years at Frog Hallow, he chaired the 5 Mile and 5k runs throughout the streets of South Amboy and Sayreville, which raised funds for the South Amboy First Aid Squad and Fire Department; Gross was a member of the South Amboy Zoning Board for numerous years before being voted councilman at large, and for the last two years has held title as city council president; and countless fundraisers within South Amboy.

The Peter J. Barnes, Jr. Community Champion Award recipient is a person who:

  • has a legacy of community service
  • is responsive to and interested in the work of the YMCA as part of a demonstrated long-term commitment to furthering the greater good of the communities in which we serve
  • serves as an example for others of leadership, integrity and the core values of the YMCA: caring, honesty, respect, responsibility
  • demonstrates a character that is beyond reproach and who consistently exemplifies the highest standards of community service
  • whose acceptance will enrich the tradition of the YMCA Community Champion Award

Bill Lovett and Mickey Gross will be honored at the 2016 Annual Dinner Meeting of the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, and Woodbridge and South Amboy on May 4 at 6 p.m. at the Pines Manor in Edison. Cost is $65 per person.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Jeanine Costa, association advancement assistant, at 732-516-2083 or email jeanine.costa@ymcaofmewsa.org