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Community Champions Celebrated at the 134th Annual Meeting of the YMCA

Visit our website to view the full Annual Report and Event Video Recording

Kevin Elak- YMCA For a Better Us 2020 Community Champion

As the Acting Director of Health, Kevin has overseen all aspects of Middletown's covid- 19 response and plan to protect the wellbeing of city residents, prevent community spread, and support widespread vaccination. His efforts have been extraordinary, and the result remarkable. Kevin worked endless hours, providing support and guidance to the whole community – all with incredible patience and kindness. He is a true community Champion.

Candace Crane shared the following, "Kevin has been a valuable resource to not only the YMCA community but the Middletown community as a whole throughout the pandemic. Kevin provided us with guidance, support, and direction on countless occasions to assist us in keeping our staff and members safe. His dedication to public health was evident daily, and we are thankful for the strong partnership."


First Church of Christ, UCC - YMCA For a Better Us 2020 Community Champions

When covid-19 sent our community into lockdown, the First Church community responded. A mighty team of volunteers answered the call by purchasing hot meals on Sunday afternoons and delivering them to the YMCA and Eddy Shelter. Chu Ngo helped engage the restaurant community while first Church volunteers worked on scheduling, fundraising, and delivery. Julie Hurlburt, Chu Ngo, Allison Plous, and Therese Nivison have provided over 2240 hot meals to men living at the Y. Their incredible dedication to addressing hunger improved lives. Jim Goodin shared the following, "First Church was one of the first charitable community organizations that reached out to the Y during the earliest weeks of the pandemic. With the church utilizing its funds, it did two very important things. First, it provided much-needed access to quality food for our residents during an unprecedented time of unemployment. And secondly, it helped struggling restaurants stay afloat with rotating regular purchases of these meals."

Marco Gaylord-YMCA For a Better Us 2020 Community Champion

As the Chief of School Operations and Communications for the Middletown Public School District, Marco managed covid-19 safety protocols across the district. Marco has worked tirelessly to manage this highly demanding and ever-changing task throughout the school year. He deserves recognition for his incredible commitment to the school district, student wellbeing, and the Middletown community. Candace Crane shared the following, "Throughout the pandemic, Marco has been a huge supporter of the YMCA. His assistance included early morning and late evening phone calls and emails ensuring the safety of the children we share in the school community, Kids' Korner, and the YMCA Distance learning program. He is a true asset to the Middletown Community, and his work with youth is appreciated more than words can say."


Russell Melmed-YMCA For a Better Us 2020 Community Champion

As the Director of Health for the Chatham Health District, Russ was a critical partner when the Y decided to open Camp Ingersoll during the pandemic. He worked closely with Ben Silliman to ensure that the Y could meet all of the safety standards during an unprecedented camp season. Russ was an incredible asset to Ben and his team that ultimately resulted in the success of one of the most important summers of Camp Ingersoll history. The Y is so grateful for Russ's dedication and partnership.

Ben Silliman shared the following, "We could not have made it through last summer without Russ's support. He never hesitated to not only consult with us on the proper actions to take, but he also took the time to make sure we understood the process. Knowing Russ would be accessible allowed us to provide an impactful summer camp experience for our campers. Russ understood the importance of summer camp and made sure we were prepared to operate."


Our Business Partners were recognized at the 2020 Annual Meeting for their generous financial contributions to the YMCA that helps ensure that every child, family and adult in our community has access to early learning opportunities, support for families living with cancer, after school and summer enrichment programs, summer day camp, housing, healthy living and youth development.


Members of the Middlesex YMCA Volunteer Board of Directors were recognized at this evening's Annual Meeting for their outstanding leadership and support over the past year. Thank you!


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