Madison Area YMCA In the News


Isla Okkinga Awarded the Madison Area YMCA’s New Jersey YMCA State Alliance 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award

Oct 09, 2015
Isla Okkinga

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Madison Area YMCA
Marketing & Communications Department
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For Immediate Release through November 9

Isla Okkinga Awarded the Madison Area YMCA’s New Jersey YMCA State Alliance 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award

CAPTION (L-R): Klaas Okkinga, of Chatham; Jane Okkinga, of Chatham; F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA Executive Director Harriet McCarter, of Madison; Madison Area YMCA Volunteer & Organizational Advancement Coordinator Melissa DeSalvo, of Madison; New Jersey Alliance Volunteer of the Year award recipient Isla Okkinga, of Chatham; Madison Area YMCA President & CEO Diane Mann, of Madison; and Madison Area YMCA Vice President of Organizational Advancement Sharon Kunas, of Madison.

(Madison, NJ) October 9, 2015 – The Madison Area YMCA is pleased to share with the community that Isla Okkinga, 15, of Chatham was the Madison Area YMCA’s recipient of a New Jersey YMCA State Alliance 2015 Youth Volunteer of the Year award.

The New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, comprised of 37 YMCAs, annually celebrates the champions of New Jersey YMCAs and honors those who have helped strengthen their communities through their work in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each YMCA puts forth its Volunteer of the Year to be recognized. The Alliance held its 15th recognition celebration to honor the recipients at Forsgate Country Club in Jamesburg on Thursday, October 1.

During the last year, Isla has volunteered more than 150 hours to the Madison Area YMCA’s youth sports program. As a competitive ice hockey player and Black Belt in karate, she has made an impact by assisting instructors weekly in the Y’s floor hockey and karate programs.

“Isla is a role model for the children that she interacts with,” said Diane Mann, President & CEO of the Madison Area YMCA and President of the New Jersey State Alliance. “We are grateful for Isla’s dedication to our Y’s focus on youth development and social responsibility.”

Isla’s passion for volunteering came out of her love for sports, but as she learned more about the Y, she expressed interest in volunteering her services in enrichment classes and administrative offices.

Isla demonstrates professionalism, takes ownership of her work and values how the Y impacts the community. She distinguishes herself as an honor student and leader at Kent Place School in Summit where she is a freshman. Isla also earned the 2015 Gold Level President’s Volunteer Service Award for completing more than 100 hours of volunteer service in a 12-month period at the Y.