Belonging begins at the Gateway Family YMCA’s Welcoming Week celebration

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UNION COUNTY, NJ — This Welcoming Week, Sept. 8 to 17, the Gateway Family YMCA will join Welcoming America, other YMCAs and organizations nationwide to celebrate immigrants’ contributions to communities and bring together all residents in a spirit of unity. The Gateway Family YMCA invites the community to visit the YMCA Open House inclusive of all, with details and schedules available at including a Community Health Fair with vaccination information, fun family programs, social events for all ages, blood pressure self-monitoring and programs open to the community.

“We believe our community is stronger when everyone feels welcome and we can all work together for the common good,” said Melynda A. Disla, president and CEO, the Gateway Family YMCA. “Welcoming Week is a time to celebrate the shared values that unite us as neighbors, parents and colleagues, and to intentionally make our towns more welcoming to newcomers and to everyone who calls our community, and our YMCA, home.”

In addition to a YMCA Open House for Sept. 8-17, the Gateway Family YMCA is offering a membership special with $0 joiner fee. Individuals and families are invited to tour and join at any YMCA branch in Elizabeth, Rahway and Union, and can join online at with code WEL3 during Welcoming Week.

The Gateway Family YMCA celebrates Welcoming Week with the local communities each year, as part of a commitment to the mission of serving all. Every day, the Gateway Family YMCA offers a complimentary Community Membership for access to select programs and events for every member of the community focused on chronic disease prevention and social opportunities for seniors and families.

As part of the YMCA commitment for inclusive access, the Welcoming Week Open House also includes a digital and virtual program and social component. Community members are encouraged to visit the Y’s website and social media channels to participate in Welcoming Week 2023. For individuals who are unable to visit the Y in person, the YMCA will be providing a Digital Community Health Fair and Community Conversation Prompts throughout the week on Facebook at and YMCA Virtual programs are available from home.

Photos Courtesy of Colleen Clayton