Tuesday, November 30, 2010

YMCA Family Events

The annual YMCA Kids’ Korner Halloween Carnival took place on Thursday, October 28th in both the YMCA gymnasium and family center. This event was a great success with over 300 ghosts, ghouls and fairy princesses in attendance. Each Kids’ Korner site created a Halloween booth which offered a variety of different activities. One specific booth featured a catapult which launched objects at three different plastic pumpkins. This booth had a line out of the gym and around the corner throughout the entire event. The YMCA Family Center featured the Haunted Hallway that brought both screams and laughter to the many that dared to walk through. It was said by many that this particular Haunted Hallway was the scariest one to date. Scary sounds played throughout the hallway as people of all ages were spooked by YMCA staff members.

On November 18th a crowd of 30 families joined us for Family BINGO. The game of fun and chance was called by YMCA staff members Tony Sharillo, Melanie Carfora, and Kevin Cassesse. Excitement was in the air as families dabbed away at their BINGO cards in hopes of winning a prize. It was even rumored that screams of “BINGO” could be heard in the lobby from all the fun that was occurring in the Hazen Room. It was a great evening filled with family fun for all who attended. Thank you to all the families who brought canned food items to donate to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry.

Spend some time with your family at the YMCA. Join us on Thursday, December 9th from 6:30-8:00 pm for Santa’s Workshop at the YMCA. Friends and family will gather as we wrap gifts to be donated to families in need. The YMCA will provide wrapping materials, music, snacks and good cheer, you provide a children’s gift to wrap. A special guest may even make an appearance! Free for YMCA members, guest of members are $5 per person with a $10 family max.

Check out our website at www.midymca.org for upcoming family events at the Middlesex YMCA.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tony Sharillo, Camp Ingersoll and Youth Programs Director.

Tony began his Y career fifteen years ago at the Middlesex YMCA took a short break to work at the Waterbury YMCA and returned to take on his current position last fall. Tony graduated from the University of CT with a degree in Child Psychology, he holds his Director Certification from the YMCA of the USA and serves as the current Chair of the Y CT Program and Membership Network. Tony lives in Middletown with his wife Erika and sons Michael 2 ½ and Lucas 6 months. He is a Red Sox fan and athlete who enjoys playing a variety of sports.

Fun Fact: Tony met his wife when they both worked as camp counselors at Camp Ingersoll!

What is your role at the YMCA?

“Here at the Middlesex YMCA not only am I the Ambassador of Fun, I have the great honor of running YMCA Camp Ingersoll as well as coordinating some of the new youth sport and teen programs run at camp and here at the YMCA.”

What it the most rewarding part of your job?

“There are so many aspects of my job that I find very rewarding that it’s hard to say which one is the most rewarding. I love the camp staff and truly enjoy working with such enthusiastic and creative people. I love working with all the campers during the summer and getting to see all the smiles our great camp staff create everyday. I love working outdoors and building things from scratch. Most of all I love that my job is basically to make the most of everyday, whether it’s during the summer or working with a teambuilding group!”

What makes the Y a special place?

“I believe it’s the staff and volunteers and their commitment to each other and the community that make the YMCA so special. Everyone works hard to develop and facilitate quality programs and events.”

Friday, November 12, 2010


Melanie Carfora, YMCA School Age Director.

Melanie has worked for the Middlesex YMCA for eleven years, lives in Middletown with her husband Dave and four year old daughter Jenna. Melanie holds a bachelors degree in social work from Saint Joseph College she enjoys reading, sports, and being funny!

Fun Fact: Melanie was a camper at Camp Ingersoll!

Please share with us your professional background:

I started working as an assistant group leader in our after school programs while I was in high school. I eventually became a head teacher at Farm Hill Kids’ Korner, a position I held for about 5 years. Once I graduated from college, I worked as a program coordinator and then became the school age director in 2006. I also began working at Camp Ingersoll in 2000 and have held many different positions including unit director of horseback, specialty camp counselor and now senior staff.

What is your role at the Middlesex YMCA?

“I am the director for our Kids’ Korner before and after school department at the YMCA. I am the program administrator responsible for the oversight of our eleven licensed school age programs. I oversee the hiring and training of a staff team of 65 people, create and implement curriculum for our programs, monitor compliance with local and state licensing regulations, and create and foster relationships with our many community partners.”

What do you find most rewarding about your work at the YMCA?

“The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that we are running quality before and after school programs that are an asset to working parents. I also find it rewarding when I see our staff sharing their talents and time with the children in our programs and serving as positive role models in our community.”

How does the YMCA impact the community?

The Y is a special place because we are making a real difference to the families and individuals we serve. We provide programs that promote wellness of the whole individual; mind, body and spirit. I chose the Y because our staff are really committed to our mission and care about wellness in our community.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


The YMCA is a community of caring people and that attitude begins with the dedicated staff members who put that principal to work each day. Over the next few weeks I will be posting different interviews with various staff members. I hope you enjoy getting to know these talented people!

Today I introduce to you Bob Spencer the Y Director of Advancement / Assistant to the President. Bob has worked at the Y for 4 ½ years. Prior to the Y Bob had a long career as a social worker and non-profit administrator. Bob and his wife Lindsay live in Portland and have two grown children Sam and Libby. They will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary next year and love to travel, hike, explore the outdoors, spend time with good friends and giving back such as their work with Habitat for Humanity.

What is your role at the Middlesex YMCA?

Charitable contributions help us to advance our mission and make all of our programs/services available to those who want/need them. Raising charitable contributions requires us to cultivate donors, keep donors engaged, informed and appreciated. New donor relationships comes from a more actively engaged membership/community and from a growing number of volunteers willing to tell the Y story. Board members providing active involvement in the financial development needs of the Y is an instrumental piece of the advancement process. My job is to bring these pieces together.

What it the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping donors who want to make a difference in the lives of children and families find a way to do that.

What makes the Y a special place? How does it impact the community?

I think our Y is one of the most diverse places in this community. There are a variety of people from multiple economic, racial and age groups that pass through our doors and they all intermingle here at the Y. We work hard to keep our doors open to any/all who want and need our services. Our men’s residence takes me back to early experiences that first drew me to social work. Our work with kids gives me a lift that I can’t imagine getting any place else. I love being part of a larger team who live out the values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Medicare Made Clear

Determining which insurance coverage is best for you can be confusing, and its even more so when you add in all of the Medicare options.

To help you sort through all of the information and get answers to your questions, the Middelsex YMCA is proud to host two FREE information sessions called "Medicare Made Clear".

Choose the one session that is most convenient for you. And please invite a friend.

Session A- Wednesday, November 10th 11:00 am in the Hazen Room of the YMCA

Session B- Friday, November 12th 9:30 am in the Hazen Room of the YMCA

Each session will be approx 1 hour and we will provide coffee.

To reserve your seat please stop by the Front Desk of the YMCA or contact Helen at (860) 343-6230 or hpeaslee@midymca.org