Fairview Lake YMCA Camps Leader Recognized for Contributions

By: News and blog | Thursday, May 2, 2019 | Volunteering

Jim Griffin

Fairview Lake YMCA Camps helped transform Jim Griffin’s son from a timid child to an engaged young man who follows his passions. “It changed the trajectory of his life,” Griffin said.

Griffin joined the YMCA’s board of managers in 2012 and became chair three years later.

He and his wife, Joan, are frequent volunteers at YMCA events. In 2018, Griffin ran the YMCA’s annual support campaign; the couple led by example, opening their home to camp families to raise $4,000.

“Fairview Lake YMCA is indebted to Jim and Joan Griffin for all their efforts and support,” former Fairview Lake YMCA Executive Director Bob Kahle said.

Jim Griffin received the John C. Prizer Award for Social Responsibility at the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges’ annual awards dinner on April 11. Fairview Lake YMCA is one of seven Metro YMCA branches.

“It’s quite a surprise and an honor,” said Griffin, who said he shares the recognition with his wife. “We’re pretty much a package deal.” 

For the Griffins, becoming YMCA devotees was natural. All three of their children, Christopher, Linna and Kaitlin, thrived as campers and then camp counselors. 

“Fairview Lake Y is just a highly developmental program, and our kids have all benefitted tremendously from going there,” he said. Linna Griffin is a past recipient of Fairview Lake YMCA’s Youth of the Year Award, he noted.

Griffin’s enthusiasm is infectious, and he has recruited three members to the Fairview Lake YMCA board of managers. “It’s an easy pitch: every parent whose child has attended the camp knows what a difference it makes.” he explained.

Griffin said he’s especially impressed by the YMCA’s counselor training program, which attracts counselors from abroad. “Kids who go through the counselor training gain a strong sense of leadership, how to work with others and handle upset children and some unruly parents,” Griffin said.

As president of the nonprofit, New Century Education Foundation, Griffin also has helped the East Orange YMCA’s community. Griffin donated adaptive educational software that helps students performing far below grade level catch up, and he set up a learning lab at the YMCA.

The Griffins moved from Montclair to Canadensis, Pennsylvania, last summer, but are still involved in The Saint James Players community theater troupe in Montclair. They also continue to volunteer at the Montclair Film Festival.

 

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