Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Middle celebrating seventy fifth anniversary

Mar. 5—WILKES-BARRE — Mark Soprano, Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Middle govt director, says because the CYC prepares to have a good time its seventy fifth anniversary, he can not help however take into consideration all of the lives which have been touched over these years.

“So many children grew up attending the CYC, together with myself,” Soprano mentioned. “I take into consideration how my life and the lives of so many others can be completely different if we did not have a spot just like the CYC.”

This yr the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Middle will have a good time its “Diamond Jubilee.” For the previous 75 years, the CYC has been serving residents of all ages from all through the Wyoming Valley space.

The CYC will kick off their celebration on the Annual CYC March Insanity Occasion which might be held on Saturday, April 1, on the Westmoreland Membership in Wilkes-Barre. This annual occasion contains a informal ambiance the place company can take pleasure in good meals and drinks whereas watching the Ultimate 4 semi-final basketball video games.

A raffle might be drawn the night time of the occasion, with the winner receiving a visit to Walt Disney World (valued at $7,500) or $6,500 money. A web based silent public sale might be held with greater than 100 gadgets up for bid at https://2023marchmadness.cbo.io.

“The CYC has tailored to the altering wants of the neighborhood, which is why we proceed to develop and serve new segments of our society, resembling our latest addition of programming to help younger folks with psychological well being points,” Soprano mentioned.

Bishop Hafey’s imaginative and prescient

The CYC was the imaginative and prescient of Bishop William Hafey again within the late Forties. Hafey noticed a necessity to determine a leisure and academic heart that might serve younger folks within the Wilkes-Barre space.

By Bishop’s Hafey’s imaginative and prescient, the CYC shortly grew to become a spot by which the youth of Wyoming Valley might socialize, recreate and develop their God-given abilities.

Soprano mentioned the unique constructing on South Washington avenue was small, consisting of a tiny gymnasium, a two lane bowling alley, a few lecture rooms and small auditorium. Lessons resembling stitching, basketball, archery and portray had been held within the early years.

As participation in this system grew over the primary decade, Soprano mentioned the CYC quickly outgrew the constructing which led to the addition of the gymnasium and swimming pool within the late Nineteen Sixties.

“With this growth, the range and amount of applications grew,” Soprano mentioned.

The CYC was dwelling to the St. Mary’s Excessive College basketball staff. Youth basketball, soccer and gymnastics applications had been developed within the fitness center, together with swim classes and swim staff applications within the swimming pool.

Aggressive swimming as we all know it within the space at the moment can hint its roots to the CYC pool. The CYC was one of many first within the space to supply a aggressive swim program and the creation of Bishop Hoban Excessive College led to a profitable partnership in swimming that also exists.

The gymnasium additionally grew to become the focus of the social life for youngsters within the late ’60s and ’70s with its Saturday night time dances that includes dwell bands resembling Joe Nardone and the All Stars, the Tones and Eddie Day and TNT, that actually packed the home every week.

Following the Agnes Flood of 1972, Soprano mentioned the CYC was capable of purchase further land adjoining to the power resulting in the development of out of doors basketball courts, tennis courts and playground space for the youthful youngsters.

These additions allowed the CYC to increase providers and enhance enrollment in current applications. A brand new Preschool Program was developed and the Summer time Day Camp noticed enrollment leap to just about 400 youngsters by 1990. Basketball leagues grew to over 1,000 contributors by the top of the last decade.

Development of kid care program

The early Nineteen Nineties additionally noticed the opening of the CYC’s full time youngster care program. This system began with only a few youngsters, however by the mid Nineteen Nineties the CYC was shortly changing each room within the facility into youngster care area to satisfy the rising demand.

In 1999, the CYC grew to become one of many first youngster care facilities within the state, and the one one in Luzerne County, to supply 24 hour-a-day youngster care providers. This system was initially funded via a U.S. Division of Housing and City Growth Grant to care for kids in households who’re experiencing homelessness however shortly transitioned into serving all households in want of the service.

In 2024, the CYC will mark 25 years of offering round the clock youngster care and remains to be the one facility within the county providing this service.

In 2001, Soprano mentioned, a capital growth and enchancment venture was launched with the purpose of elevating $4 million to assemble a brand new cutting-edge aquatic heart, renovate the prevailing pool right into a gymnasium and purchase land to develop a park with further outside play area for the youngsters.

The aquatic heart options the most important swimming complicated within the space with an eight-lane pool and spectator seating for over 500. Though the COVID-19 pandemic put a short lived halt to the CYC swim staff, the staff will re-emerge this summer time and be prepared for competitors within the fall.

Lately, Soprano mentioned the CYC developed programming with the help from Luzerne County Psychological Well being system to offer social, leisure and academic actions for youngsters concerned within the psychological well being system.

With out many social actions obtainable to this inhabitants, the CYC Drop-In program shortly grew to become a scorching spot for these younger folks. Three days every week the CYC doorways are open for casual play time, life abilities applications and particular occasions. Within the first few years of this system, greater than 500 youngsters have participated.

At the moment, 242 youngsters are enrolled within the CYC youngster care program, which presents providers for kids age 6 months via 13 years. A Earlier than and After College program is offered with transportation to/from colleges within the Wilkes-Barre Space, Hanover Space and Wyoming Valley West College District.

The CYC is a member company of the Wyoming Valley United Means and a part of the Diocese of Scranton.

For questions relating to CYC applications, or the March Insanity Occasion, contact the CYC at 570-823-6121.

Attain Invoice O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

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