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Announcement Detail

Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA Honors the Raynes Family and Saturdays in Motion program at Annual Golf Classic

byBarbara Russo |
  • Kids & Families
  • Community

Contact:
Barbara Russo
Somerset County YMCA
908-630-3535 x134
brusso@somersetcountyymca.org

Basking Ridge, N.J. – May 14, 2019 – Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA will host its 29th annual Golf Classic at Roxiticus Golf Club in Mendham on June 3, 2019. The Y is proud to honor the Raynes Family and the Saturdays in Motion program at this year’s event. The Golf Classic is Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA’s signature fundraiser that helps to ensure the Y can continue to offer vital services and resources to those in the community who need them most. Space at the private, scenic course is limited, and golfers are encouraged to register soon.

Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA chose to honor the Raynes Family for their dedication to strengthening community, which is consistent with the Y’s cause.

The Saturdays in Motion program, founded by Art Raynes 27 years ago, is believed to be the country’s longest-running non-public recreational program for children on the autism spectrum and their families. In the program teen volunteers are paired with children on the spectrum for an hour in the gym and an hour in the pool. It is a family program. Siblings of the children on the spectrum share the fun, while their parents get a break. Many of the siblings in time become volunteers.

The program embraces all three Y areas of focus: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, all while strengthening our community. The program fosters youth development by allowing children with autism to gain confidence and personal connections with volunteers, while the teen volunteers gain leadership skills and learn to appreciate the value of giving back. With a focus on healthy living, the program inspires children with special needs and their siblings to engage in physical exercise while offering parents the benefit of reduced stress through caregiving respite. The program celebrates social responsibility by inspiring volunteerism and addressing an unmet need in the community, all at no cost to participating families.

“Art Raynes, along with his family, are true heroes not only to the Y, but to all families who participate in Saturdays in Motion,” said David M. Carcieri, President and CEO of Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA. “We are honored to offer this amazing program that helps so many people within our community. We’re very proud of the work Art and his volunteers do to help make Saturdays in Motion so successful. It’s because of this hard work and commitment, which resonates throughout the Y, that we are able to provide this recreational and respite program to those in need.”

Saturdays in Motion families remark that their children eagerly look forward to each session and that the program not only benefits their family, but also the entire community. For many children the program is transformational. It is equally transformative for the teen volunteers.  Through the inclusive nature of the program, the teens gain an experience that fosters compassion, responsibility, empathy and leadership. While they may not fully realize the transformation each time they volunteer, the overall experience leads to significant, positive personal growth with long-term benefits.

In reflecting on the volunteers who support Saturdays in Motion, founder Art Raynes, comments: “For 27 years now I’ve been amazed at the dedication, skill, infectious good humor and heart of our teen volunteers. These middle and high school volunteers have enriched the lives of children with autism and their families, and that’s something really special.  Session after session they donate their time despite their rigorous schedules with school, sports and other activities. Our Saturdays in Motion volunteers are the best teen volunteers anywhere and they do an outstanding job with the kids in the program.” 

Over the years, Saturdays in Motion has offered hundreds of families hope and support, and has also provided about a thousand young volunteers the gift of meaningful service to others.

As a charitable organization with a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y offers everyone opportunities to achieve their full potential. Proceeds from the Golf Classic allow Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA to provide under-resourced individuals and families with financial assistance for critical programs and services to help them live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.

Sponsorships of the Golf Classic augment the overall success of the event, which annually attracts nearly 100 golfers. Returning this year as a platinum level sponsor is the Gagnon Family Foundation, established by Lois and Neil Gagnon, longstanding supporters of the Y cause. Additional sponsors include gold level sponsors, Fellowship Senior Living, Larini Family, Massey Quick Simon & Co., LLC, and silver level sponsors Franklin Mutual Insurance Company, Peapack Gladstone Bank and Tri-County Orthopedics.

“At the Y, we rely on the generous support of our donors and community partners to help those who are struggling financially, physically and emotionally,” said Mr. Carcieri. “The Golf Classic is the Y’s signature fundraiser, which helps to ensure the Y can continue to offer important programs and services like childcare, summer camp, senior programs and memberships to those who otherwise could not afford them.”

Last year the Y provided over $1.9 million in direct financial assistance and community program support that addresses the critical social needs of our community.

To register golfers, become a sponsor or for more information about the Golf Classic, please contact Kelly Castro at 908 630 3535 x100 or at kcastro@somersetcountyymca.org. More information can be found online at www.somersetcountyymca.org/golf-classic.

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About Somerset County & Plainfield YMCA

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. At Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA, we believe everyone, regardless of age, income or background, should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. For information about Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA and financial assistance, visit us at www.somersetcountyymca.org.

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raynes family photo
The Raynes Family: Left to Right: Art, Michael, Pat, Stephen and Will.