Community invited to Catholic Youth Center Thursday evening for #NEPAGives Rally
24-hour Swim Endurance Challenge to raise money for CYC Aquatics Center 

WILKES-BARRE – As the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center celebrates 75 years of steadfast service to children and young people, the community is being invited to support its mission and innovative programming.

“The Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center means so much to the youth of our community. We offer many different programs from our daycare program to our basketball and swim programs and even our drop-in program for young people who are involved in the mental health system. This is a home away from home for those children,” Mark Soprano, Executive Director of the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center, said. “We are the largest daycare provider in Luzerne County. We offer 24-hour daycare for children of working families.”

In conjunction with #NEPAGives Day 2023, the CYC will open its doors to the community from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, 2023, for free food, drinks and fun. Father Jim Paisley, pastor of St. Therese Parish and St. Frances Cabrini Parish, will perform several songs and entertain those in attendance. No reservations are needed. Anyone is welcome to attend to learn more about the CYC or its programs or hear about the 27 other Diocesan causes that are part of #NEPAGives Day 2023, including our Catholic schools and service programs.

“We are about to embark on a new project to develop an infant and toddler outdoor play area. We have a courtyard on the side of our current building. We want to remove some large trees and put in new sidewalks and play equipment for the little ones to crawl and play around outside,” Soprano added.

Also, in celebration of #NEPAGives Day 2023, a group of 13 open-water marathon swimmers will be in the CYC pool as part of a 24-hour Swim Endurance Challenge. The swimmers plan to swim one mile, every hour on the hour, for 24 hours, to raise money for the CYC Aquatics Center.

“I’ve been a life-long resident and I’ve done all my training at the CYC pool to swim triathlons to open marathon swims,” organizer Mary Stella explained. “There are a lot of people that use this pool from children learning to swim to adults that are maintaining their fitness. It’s a great facility for the whole community and we need to keep it maintained.”

One mile is 1,760 yards but a swimmer mile is 1,650 yards – which is roughly 66 lengths of the pool.

“It is a real endurance test,” swimmer Stephen Rouch of Kingston, added. “I’m worried about missing my sleep but for others it is going to be having tired arms. Either way, it’ll be fun no matter what!”