By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY The Village of Monticello Recreation Department and the YMCA of Middletown and Sullivan County have teamed up to offer local residents more athletic programs.
The collaboration between the Monticello Recreation Dept. and the YMCA began back in February with an adult men’s basketball league.
“We had 150 men from Monticello and around Sullivan County playing in the league,” said Bill Fioravanti, who is the Associate Executive Director for Membership at the YMCA of Middletown and Sullivan County. “Some women also played in the league.”
One of those women was Kim Fore, Coach of the Monticello junior varsity girls’ volleyball team.
“The league was good,” said Michael Greco of the Village of Monticello Recreation Dept. “It was a chance for many adults to get out and play basketball. It was a very positive experience.”
The YMCA and Monticello Recreation Dept. also joined together to offer a free basketball clinic for kids following the adult league season.
“We held it at the Robert J. Kaiser School in Monticello,” Fioravanti said. “Many kids participated in the clinic. It was educational and enjoyable.
“It allowed us to share with them the four core values of the YMCA, which are respect, caring, honesty and responsibility,” he added.
This summer the YMCA and Monticello Recreation Dept. teamed up to offer a youth swimming program at the Dillon Road pool in Monticello.
“It was free to 95 percent of the kids who participated,” Fioravanti commented. “We had an incredible response for the program. The kids had fun and learned a great deal. This can be a lifetime sport for these kids.”
Greco noted that Kathy Krieger and her mother Alice, who live on Dillon Road, helped with the swimming program.
The Dillon Road facility also has a skate park and basketball court which youngsters can enjoy.
“The swimming program is great because it’s free for kids,” Greco said. “And the village had lifeguards and the YMCA had instructors for the program.”
“We’re thrilled that the swimming program is here,” he continued. “It really helps kids.”
Another recent event which included the YMCA and Monticello Recreation Dept. was the Night Out Against Crime on Aug. 4. The two organizations joined with several others, including the Recovery Center, Monticello Police Dept. and Kean Lake Community, to hold Night Out Against Crime, which is a national program, on Broadway in Monticello.
“So many non-profits were involved,” Fioravanti said. “Everything is a step in the right direction. It was a good experience.”
Fioravanti is happy to work with Greco on shared programs to benefit as many people as possible. Greco feels the same way.
“I like working with Bill,” Greco explained. “I think Bill brings a great energy to the Sullivan County YMCA from his experience with the Boys and Girls Club. We talk to each other about once a week. I talk about some ideas I have and he talks about ideas he has.”
One upcoming event the YMCA and Monticello Recreation Dept. are working together on is the Village of Monticello Halloween Parade. The parade will be held Sunday, Oct. 30 on Broadway.
“With the Broadway renovation project complete, this will be quite a parade,” Greco said. “The local kids really enjoy getting dressed up and marching in the parade.”
Village of Monticello Manager John LiGreci approves of the collaboration between the Monticello Recreation Dept. and YMCA.
“I think that the cooperation between the YMCA and our village recreation department is excellent,” LiGreci said. “They are working very well together and creating new programs. Those programs include arts and crafts and a youth dance night on Friday nights.”
LiGreci also praised Fioravanti.
“Bill has such an enthusiasm for the Sullivan County YMCA and all of its programs,” LiGreci said.