SUSSEX COUNTY - Ashleigh Larsen, 17, a swim instructor at the Sussex County YMCA and a student at High Point Regional High School, received the Russell Colgate Award for outstanding youth Thursday night, March 25, at the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges' 27th Annual Fellowship Dinner. The Russell Colgate Award is presented to outstanding YMCA youth members in honor of the late Russell Colgate, one of the early advocates and supporters of the YMCA. Mr. Colgate served as Board Chairman among many other roles, and was one of the most generous contributors to the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. W. Daniel McCain, President and CEO, said, "Our annual fellowship dinner celebrates the achievements of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges for the past year, and recognizes members, staff and volunteers who helped make the year a success. We had much to celebrate in 2003 - We served more people than ever, and introduced many new programs. And we're off to a great start in 2004. My congratulations to each of the award winners; their awards are well deserved, and this is our way of saying thank you.'" Ashleigh has worked for the Sussex County YMCA for two and a half years, initially as a lifeguard before becoming certified as a swim instructor in May of 2003. "She has contributed to the success of our aquatics program in many ways," said Kurt Haas, Executive Director. "She shows great maturity for her age; she is caring and patient with adults and children alike, encouraging confidence and success through her calm style. Throughout the summer I received only praise from parents about Ashleigh's teaching, and I was very pleased to be able to include her on the staffing schedule for our winter classes." An exemplary student, Ashleigh is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Languages Honor Society, and also plays on her school's soccer team. The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is the largest YMCA in the state of New Jersey, serving over 60,000 families annually. The mission of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is to enhance the lives of the children, families and communities it serves, through programs that build spirit, mind and body, welcoming all people, in an environment nurturing positive values. Its five branch facilities are located in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Newton, and Stillwater, and provide a wide variety of services and activities such as all-day and after-school childcare, pre-school and kindergarten classes, recreational and enrichment programs e.g. swimming and other sports, arts, computer activities and day and sleep-away camps. Also available are programs for adolescents and teens that include sports, parties and club activities, and programs for adults and seniors. Call 973-758-9622, or go online to www.metroymcas.org.