West Essex YMCA to celebrate half a century on Oct. 19

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LIVINGSTON, NJ — On Saturday, Oct. 19, the West Essex YMCA is hosting a free, community event for members and area residents as a thank you for their support and partnership over the last 50 years. Fifty years ago, the West Essex YMCA began operating from the location at 321 S. Livingston Ave. in Livingston, touching thousands of lives throughout the years.

“We have planned an afternoon of fun and celebrating with the goal of bringing together our members and the wider community to celebrate this milestone and our deep partnerships with townships of West Orange, Caldwell, Roseland and Livingston,” West Essex YMCA Executive Director Helen Flores said. 

The anniversary event will run from 3 to 7:30 p.m. on the grounds of the YMCA. The event will kick off with remarks from local officials from Essex County Freeholder Pat Sebold’s office and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill’s office, and Mayor Al Anthony of Livingston.

Attendees will have their choice of a variety of activities and attractions during the afternoon event, plus two live music performances on the lawn of the YMCA and a light buffet supper. 

Performers include the Somerset Brass Quintet, which is known for classical and classics to suit all tastes, and local artist Xan Louis, who is known for his command of soul, blues, funk and pop tunes. Younger guests will enjoy crafts, pumpkin decorating and a special “swim with the pumpkins” in the indoor pool, as well as the outdoor petting zoo. 

Guests seeking more action can participate in the indoor obstacle course fashioned after the popular television show “American Ninja Warrior,” as well as a free-throw basketball contest. The winner of the free-throw contest will receive a free one-year family membership to the YMCA, valued at $1,000.

Local artist, Brian Convery will lead guests in a mural painting project to commemorate this half-century milestone. The mural will remain on display at the YMCA as a permanent art feature. 

“The West Essex YMCA has been serving the community for 50 years and we look forward to the next 50 years of service to Essex County,” said Richard K. Gorab, president and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. 

To register for the anniversary celebration, visit www.metroymcas.org/west-essex-ymca/west-essex-ymca-50th-year-celebration or call 973-992-7500.