For Sam Cingari, swimming in the pool at Stamford’s YMCA is where his involvement all started.
“I’ve been a member of the Y for many, many years,” said Sam Cingari, Stamford resident and owner of Grade A ShopRite.
And he’s still exercising there 5 days a week.
“My wife says, I leave the house at 6, and I don’t get home until 6,” said Cingari. “But it’s something I’ve been doing for so long that if I don’t do it, I feel as though something’s wrong.”
That feeling led him to contribute his time as a board member. Now, he’s being honored by the Stamford Family YMCA with a Youth Champion Award – recognized for his active role in children’s lives.
“If you ever went there after three o’clock or five o’clock, you would see hundreds of kids, either studying, playing basketball, swimming, and getting them off the streets. I think it’s the most fantastic thing you could ever come across,” said Cingari.
Funds from the Y’s second annual Fine Food For a Cause will go toward building a kitchen. It will be used at the Y to teach children and families about nutrition, in an effort to fight childhood obesity.
“Teach them what’s good about what should go in their bodies and to really educate them on nutrition as a whole,” said Ernest Lamour, CEO of Stamford Family YMCA.
“Get people more apt to what they’re eating, how they’re eating it, and when they’re eating it. It’s extremely important,” said Cingari.
Cingari runs 10 family-owned Grade A Shoprite Markets in Fairfield County – providing groceries and health education to the community.
“Food, supermarkets and obesity go together. And we have a full time nutritionist that goes out to the general public,” said Cingari.
Monday evening, local restaurants and chefs cooked at the event to support the cause.
“The YMCA is a great place for kids to develop both physically and mentally,” said Michael Marchetti, Chef Owner of Columbus Park Trattoria in Stamford.
“At the end of the day, it’s always about the children in our local community, and what we can all do to support them, their families. We really are looking forward to taking our program to the next level,” said Lamour.