Greater Somerset County YMCA celebrates Spirit Award recipients

Jennifer Giesber at Hillsborough YMCA receives leadership award


Share post:

Greater Somerset County YMCA celebrated this year’s Spirit Award recipients and the success of its annual campaign at Raritan Valley Country Club in Bridgewater on April 10.

During National Volunteer Month, the Y recognized individuals and groups for their selfless spirit and their significant contributions to the community through their involvement with the YMCA.

- Advertisement -

David M. Carcieri, president and CEO of Greater Somerset County YMCA, expressed gratitude to donors, volunteers, government officials, and staff, by emphasizing their vital role in advancing the Y’s mission.

“The success of Greater Somerset County YMCA directly reflects the dedication of our donors, partners, and volunteers,” Carcieri shared. “Their unwavering support of and commitment to the community are indispensable in the work we do each day. Through their generous donation of time, talent, and resources, they uplift neighbors and create opportunities that transform lives.”

2024 Spirit Award Recipients:

  • Youth Award: Chloe Moss at Somerset Hills YMCA
  • Adult Award: Shakti Harris at Bridgewater & Somerville YMCAs
  • Family Award: Chris & Sarah Hayevy at Bridgewater & Somerville YMCAs
  • Active Older Adult: Ethel Wheeler at Plainfield YMCA
  • Group Award: 150th Anniversary Committee at Greater Somerset County YMCA including: Robyn Burke, Peter Cirignano, Chris Edwards, Erika Evleth, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Kate Fleschler, Marisabel Fernandez, Lisa LaVecchia, Karen Ostarticki, Linda Osterman               
  • Leadership Award: Jennifer Giesber at Hillsborough YMCA
  • Living Our Cause Award: Steve Oliver at Greater Somerset County YMCA
  • Ray of Light: Lee Udelsman at Somerset Hills YMCA
  • Community Partner Award: Somerset County at Franklin Township YMCA including: Commissioner Director, Shanel Robinson; Commissioner Deputy Director, Sara Sooy; Commissioner, Paul Drake; Commissioner, Melonie Marano; Commissioner, Douglas Singleterry; County Administrator, Colleen Mahr; and Chief Communications Officer, Brad Fay
  • Board Leadership Award: Chuck Craig & Doug Grierson at Greater Somerset County YMCA and Princeton YMCA
  • Philanthropy Award: The Bocina Family at Greater Somerset County YMCA including: Bruce Bocina, Barbara Curtin, and Brenda Curnin                  
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Gail Granowitz at Greater Somerset County YMCA

The awards were presented by Greg Romano, chair of Greater Somerset County YMCA’s Board of Directors.

“The Spirit Awards fittingly honor Y volunteers whose generous spirits enable our centers to provide the support and resources necessary for everyone to thrive,” he said.

During a lively celebration with maracas in hand, Lisa LaVecchia, vice chair of Greater Somerset County YMCA’s Board of Directors and Annual Campaign Chair announced fundraising achievements towards its 2024 Annual Campaign goal of $1,480,000.

These funds support financial assistance for childcare and summer camp, mission-based services like rehabilitation programs for cancer patients, water safety programs to prevent accidental drownings, enrichment programs for individuals with special needs, workforce development for the unemployed, and more.

Although the YMCA has met this year’s campaign goal, Greater Somerset County YMCA remains committed to ongoing fundraising efforts to ensure equity and underscoring the belief that everyone deserves access to resources and opportunities that promote a healthy, connected life.

For more information visit

Stay Connected


Current Issue

Latest News

Related articles

Common calendar, Packet papers, May 24

Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of New York Blood Center, which...

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel to lead Hightstown Memorial Day Parade

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Walter Conner will lead Hightstown Borough's Memorial Day parade as its grand marshal...

Hopewell Valley will remember the fallen

Unlike Veterans Day where people across the United States thank living veterans, Memorial Day takes on a more...

‘Make no mistake, the need is great’

With a snip of the scissors, Homes by TLC, HomeFront and developer Lennar celebrated the completion of a...