YMCA of MEWSA to present awards during annual dinner

The YMCA of MEWSA (Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy) will honor several community members during its annual dinner.

The recipient of the Charles S. Edgar Memorial Award is Jan Grayzel. This award is given to an individual who has greatly served the youth of the community, exemplifies community spirit, has contributed to the community through a variety of organizations and in a variety of roles, and is responsive to and interested in the work of the YMCA.

Grayzel has been on the YMCA Board of Directors for 28 years, and has served in many capacities. She chaired the Metuchen Branch for 10 years, and has been vice chair of the Association Board for the last four years. She has also served on the Board Governance Committee for the last 15 years and has chaired the Edgar Award Committee for the last four years.

Her volunteerism began when her children, Daniel and Rebecca, started attending public school in Metuchen. She became a class parent and also served as president of the PTO and PT Council.

She is a certified personal trainer and certified health coach, and has a wellness business in Metuchen.

The Peter J. Barnes Jr. Community Champion Award will be presented to Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. This award is given to an individual who has a legacy of community service, is responsive to and interested in the work of the YMCA, serves as an example for others of leadership, integrity and the core values of the YMCA: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

Coughlin has served with the New Jersey General Assembly since 2010 where he represents the 19th Legislative District. He has served as Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly since 2018.

He is a partner on the law firm Rainone, Coughlin, Minchello. He worked as an attorney before serving as a municipal court judge for Edison Township in 2005. Some of his major accomplishments include sponsoring the bill to gradually increase the minimum wage to $15, spearheading the efforts to advance a package of anti-hunger bills, ending surprise out-of-network medical bills, introducing legislation to provide tax credits to businesses who expand or modernize their manufacturing plant or machinery, legislation to expedite and prioritize the remediation and reuse of vacant and underused public property and legislation that would allow local, county and school governments to shop for the most affordable health insurance coverage for their employees.

Coughlin has been active within his hometown of South Amboy, serving on the Board of Education from 1983-87 and the South Amboy Borough Council from 1987-93. 

He is instrumental in running the annual Bowl For Hunger fundraiser, which has raised more than $180,000 in the last nine years for local food banks.  

Metuchen Savings Bank is being honored with the first-ever Community Partner award. The award celebrates and recognizes community organizations that have made significant contributions to the YMCA and the community. Metuchen Savings Bank has been instrumental in supporting the YMCA of MEWSA, sponsoring many of their events and fundraisers and serving as major advocates to their Annual Support Campaign. The award will be accepted by Katherine Liseno, president and CEO of Metuchen Bank.

The recipients will be honored at the 2019 Annual Dinner of the YMCA of MEWSA at 6 p.m. on May 1 at the Pines Manor, 2085 Route 27, Edison. The cost is $80 per person. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Catherine Haugh at 732-516-9200, ext. 1104 or at catherine.haugh@ymcaofmewsa.org.