YMCA Travels to Mumbai for Intl Partnership Program

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On November 4, 2011 a group of Edison Branch Y staff members and volunteers representing the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy leave for a much anticipated one week visit to the YMCA of Bombay in Mumbai, India.  Cindi Crane - Edison Branch Executive; Lexy Anderson - Associate Branch Executive; Dinesh K. Karnani & Lorraine Mulligan - Board Members are representing the YMCA on this mission trip. 

The group's goal is to further our international partnership, experience the culture of India, explore our common ground, exchange ideas for programs and services and develop a working relationship with our counterparts in India.  Karnani, who Co-Chairs the Y International Committee together with Jacob Abraham, General Secretary of the Bombay Young Men's Christian Association, developed the ambitious itinerary that includes visits to several of the Bombay YMCA branch locations.

The Bombay Y began in 1875 and has grown to 8 branches, several program centers and a campsite over the course of 125 years.  This year the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy celebrates 90 years of experience delivering lasting personal and social change to our community.  They are the largest provider of child care services with 10 child care centers and serve the community during the summer months at our 12 day camps in Metuchen, North Edison, South Edison, Woodbridge, Fords, Colonia, Avenel, South Amboy and Piscataway. The Y also has 4 outdoor community pools in Fords, Port Reading, North Edison and South Edison.  The Y is a volunteer driven organization with over 1,000 volunteers helping serve over 36,000 of your friends and neighbors.

Lorraine Mulligan, VP of Business Development at Metuchen Savings Bank & Past President of the YMCA Board of Directors said, "since the Community Campus YMCA on Oak Tree Road in Edison opened its doors in 2002 in a unique partnership with the JCC of Middlesex County, we have served an increasingly diverse population.  This trip gives us a tremendous opportunity to develop and demonstrate an ongoing connection to the South Asian members we serve."  The added benefit for Mulligan is that Metuchen Savings Bank markets to the same communities served by the YMCA and both organizations have had a long, valued partnership.  "This connection was not lost on my employer, when my vacation time was approved for the India trip.  We are a community bank and our focus has always been about understanding our customers to be better equipped to offer products and services that fit their needs", said Mulligan.

Cindi Crane and Lexy Anderson lead the Community Campus YMCA where an expansion is set to begin this fall in order to increase the YMCA's ability to provide state-of-the art wellness and recreation services to the citizens of Edison and to YMCA members of all ages.  At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day we work side by side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

"Lexy and I are thrilled to be visiting the Gyan Ashram Andheri for the authentic spiritual experience.  Our hope is that the visits to this and other centers in Mumbai will give us a better understanding as we develop programs and expand services at the Community Campus YMCA".  The Edison YMCA team will visit the Ghatkopar Y, the Street Children Shelter Juhu Beach, the Student & Central YMCA, the Procter YMCA,  the YMCA Boys Home & will also include an overnight stay at Camp Lakeside Nilshi.

"This is just the beginning", according to Mulligan.  "Our friends from the Bombay YMCA are planning to send a team here in the spring of 2012 so we can continue our journey together."

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