2018-04-25 / Front Page

Ridgewood YMCA Names Volunteers of the Year

Ridgewood YMCA board members and staff celebrate Volunteer of the Year honorees Dr. Matthew Ackert and Noor Abdel Gaphar.

Ridgewood YMCA board members and staff celebrate Volunteer of the Year honorees Dr. Matthew Ackert and Noor Abdel Gaphar. The Ridgewood YMCA recognized Dr. Matthew Ackert as Adult Volunteer of the Year and Noor Abdel Gaphar as Youth Volunteer of the Year. They received their awards at the YMCA of Greater New York’s 165th General Assembly Volunteer Recognition Ceremony, where their families, business leaders, YMCA volunteers and staff celebrated their service.

Dr. Matthew Ackert is an anesthesiologist with Northwell Health Hospitals, and has been a YMCA member for over 20 years. In 2013 he joined the Ridgewood Y’s Board of Managers. In 2017, Dr. Ackert increased his involvement by serving as the Chair of the 2017 Annual Campaign, which is the YMCA’s fundraising initiative to ensure that no one is turned away from the Y due to lack of funds. As Annual Campaign Chair, Dr. Ackert led and supported the Ridgewood Y’s efforts to reach 104% of its fundraising goal.

Dr. Ackert has provided numerous volunteer hours at YMCA events and program activities. Dr. Matthew Ackert with his Adult Volunteer of the Year award.Dr. Matthew Ackert with his Adult Volunteer of the Year award.Through his community advocacy on behalf of the Y, he worked to establish a community partnership with Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and the YMCA in order to connect the community with much needed resources, establishing a referral base with the hospital for the Live Strong Cancer Survivor program. Through his efforts the Y has been able to offer free YDDP class and group exercise classes to the community at the hospital as well health workshops at the YMCA.

Noor Abdel Gaphar is a 14-year-old Y member and program participant. He personifies what a youth volunteer should be; he is hard working, friendly, bright and eager to learn as much as he can. He treats everyone around him with an incredible amount of respect and care, and is genuinely a joy to be around. Noor is very committed to building a better world for everyone. Noor has been a staple in many Ridgewood YMCA youth programs and family events, including volunteering annually at the Y’s Healthy Kids Day and with the Junior Knicks Program. He strives to live out the Y core values in everything he does.

The Ridgewood Y is proud to celebrate the service and accomplishments of Dr. Ackert and Noor Abdel Gaphar with his Youth Volunteer of the Year award.Noor Abdel Gaphar with his Youth Volunteer of the Year award.Noor Abdel Gaphar and recognize them as Volunteers of the Year. They were recognized and presented with their awards alongside volunteers from each of their 24 YMCAs across the city at the YMCA of Greater New York’s annual General Assembly banquet on April 3. The event, themed “To Your Health” was filled with spirited fellowship and celebration.

Ridgewood YMCA is located at 69-02 64th Street Ridgewood, New York 11385; the phone number is 212-912-2180.

 

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