Glen Rock resident Paul Shahar was honored for a lifetime of service to the national and Ridgewood YMCA organizations at a luncheon on April 11 at YMCA Headquarters in New York City.
Dr. Sharar, a proud native of Iowa from an old Iowa family originally of Anglo-Saxon, Dutch, German and Swiss ancestry — one of his hobbies in genealogy — was born in 1931. He made his first trip to New York City for a Model United Nations program and later started a similar program at the Ridgewood YMCA where he worked for two years as a program developer.
“What I really love is developing new approaches to problems,” he said.
A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and of Boston University’s School of Theology, Sharar later received a doctorate in organizational psychology from Columbia University. He received the J.R. Mott Scholarship Award which provided assistance so that he could write his doctoral dissertation. He counseled patients from many walks of life for his entire career.
While residing in Glen Rock, Dr. Sharar designed many programs for the YMCA of Greater New York’s Counseling and Testing Service. These programs, included a youth work program at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Branch YMCA called TRY. an acronym for “Training Resources For Youth.” He also created programs for U.S. veterans, for mothers on welfare, and for new immigrants in need of English lessons and job counseling and support.
Dr. Sharar retired after 35 years of employed service with the YMCA including work in Ridgewood and in New York City, and has traveled around the world. His last assignment before his retirement in 1991. His closing assignment was serving as vice president for program management and development with the YMCA of Greater New York, an area that includes New York City, northern New Jersey, and New York State.
He then signed up on a volunteer basis with the YMCA Retiree Alumni, which hosted the meeting where he received the handsome plaque and the warm applause of the group”s other readers and recent retirees. He has served the Retirees group for 21 years in posts including secretary, chapter president, newsletter editor, membership chairman and chairman of the nominating committee.
In his retirement, Dr. Sharar was been active in Ridgewood United Methodist Church, the Glen Rock Environmental Commission, and in studying genealogy and writing his autobiography, available by request on-line. He has four daughters, all musical, and four grandchildren.