Chamber Peeps Being Honored at Meadowlands YMCA June 5 Gala

Grab your tickets now!

Grab your tickets now!

Some familiar faces will be honored at the Meadowlands YMCA gala next month, including Meadowlands Chamber President & CEO Jim Kirkos and Axiom Communications President & former Meadowlands YMCA Board Chair Ron Simoncini.

The 2024 Heart of the Meadowlands Gala will also honor Y International as well as Jane Egan, former President & CEO, Meadowlands YMCA. All proceeds benefit the Meadowlands YMCA’s community programming.

Planned at Il Villaggio in Carlstadt, New Jersey, the fundraising dinner starts with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Buy tickets here.

About the Honorees

Jim Kirkos has been deeply involved with the Meadowlands region for decades, aiding the area as it has transformed into one of NJ’s most economically and socially rich regions. As the CEO of the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, he is actively involved with helping many businesses across the region, from small businesses to bigger corporations.

Kirkos has been crucial in developing the Meadowlands into what we now know it as today and the award recognizes all of the success that he has brought to the region. He has seen it all, from Super Bowls to WrestleMania and now the World Cup Final, his impact on the Meadowlands will be long-standing.  

Ron Simoncini is no stranger to the Meadowlands YMCA, as he served as the organization’s board chairman for over a decade, before stepping down in December 2023. During his time there, the Y grew from 500 members to over 14,000 and went from $1 million in assets to $20 million. Perhaps, most significant, however, was the $14 million construction of the Meadowlands Y in 2017, renovating a 64,000-square-foot-building and adding an 18,000-square-foot pool facility and loft system.

Simoncini currently serves as the president of Axiom Communications, a marketing and public relations firm that he founded in 1999.

Y International, a part of LuLu Group International, focuses on exporting consumer goods and food items to retail businesses throughout the Middle East and India. The company, which chose New Jersey as its primer location in the United States eventually plans to expand across the country. The group chose the Garden State as its new home due to its rich agricultural history and proximity to NYC and other active areas.

Y International has been chosen as an honoree by the Meadowlands YMCA because of their generosity towards the organization, donating generous amounts of food to them over the four years that they have been working together. The Meadowlands YMCA is able to help out many citizens in need across the region and with the help of companies such as Y International, they are able to continue serving their community. 

“They have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars of food to our pantry and our food distribution program”, said Meadowlands YMCA President & CEO, David Kisselback. “It’s been extremely (beneficial) because it’s food that we wouldn’t have been able to get for those that need it.”

The company’s headquarters are located in Lyndhurst, NJ, where they not only provide goods to countries thousands of miles away but boost the economy right here in New Jersey. The relationship has been beneficial to both parties, however, as the Meadowlands has provided Y International with a great home with endless business opportunities.

Jane Egan spent more than 35 years serving as the CEO of the Meadowlands YMCA and within that time, the Y was able to see massive growth thanks to her hard work and determination. Egan often dreamed of a Y with walls and was able to watch her dream play out when the Y’s state-of-the-art facility was constructed near the end of her tenure.

Without the stellar work that Egan put in throughout her decades long tenure with the Meadowlands YMCA, it may not have grown into the successful and blossoming organization that we know it as today. Her reluctance to give up and desire to build a better Meadowlands paved the way for these improvements.

Tickets and Sponsorships

To learn more about the gala, tickets, and sponsorships, click here. An individual ticket is $500; sponsorships range from $5,000-$25,000. A Mission Package ($5,000), for example, includes 4 Tickets to the Cocktail Reception and Dinner, plus a full page ad in the Journal, and social media and website recognition.

About the Meadowlands YMCA

The Meadowlands YMCA is dedicated to strengthening the communities it serves by closing the achievement gap, eliminating health disparities and providing aid to financially struggling families.

On the local level, the nonprofit organization provides over $400,000 annually in scholarships and subsidies for childcare and other programming to families in need. Further, The Russo Family Pantry and the Meadowlands Y’s food programs have distributed more than 8.5 million pounds of food.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center has had 45% of the eighth graders have been accepted into exceptional high schools. Before this program, no eighth graders had been accepted.

The Meadowlands Family Success Center runs over 100 programs and workshops servicing 680 adults and families. These Programs and workshops range from Parenting Classes, English as a Second Language Classes, Tutoring, and Youth Seeking Employment for the Unemployed.