• Event Raises Funds, Brings Awareness to Greater Pittston YMCA

    Event raises funds, brings awareness to Greater Pittston YMCA

    By Tony Callaio - For Sunday Dispatch
    Michaelene Mecadon, Health and Wellness Director at the Greater Pittston YMCA, leads spinning classes during the Spin 4 Pittston fundraiser held in the early morning Jan. 18. - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
    Two-year Greater Pittston YMCA board member Scott Verdine takes part in the fundraiser. The Y is in the middle of a capital campaign project to raise funds to improve the 36-year-old facility on Main Street. - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
    Leslie Widdick, Greater Pittston YMCA CEO, front left, shoots live Facebook video during the Spin 4 Pittston fundraiser. - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
    YMCA lifetime member Joe Adonizio is focused on spinning during the fundraiser with Virginia Trevethan, Dallas, directly behind him. - - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
    Wyoming Area Secondary Center Principal Dave Pacchioni gets an early start on the day by participating in the Spin 4 Pittston YMCA fundraiser. - - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

    PITTSTON — The Greater Pittston YMCA wants to transform itself and needs your help.

    When you talk to officials at the YMCA, you get the sense of urgency to move the facility forward. At one time, if you wanted to exercise, the YMCA was just about the only game in town. That’s no longer the case in 2019 with workout establishments all around Pittston.

    One way for the downtown YMCA to raise money is through fundraising. In the wee hours of Jan. 18, the Y held a Spin 4 Pittston spinning event not only to raise money, but to bring awareness to the area the Pittston Y is in need of funds to bring the 136-year-old agency up-to-date and modern.

    “We’re having a three-phase capital campaign trying to raise funds for improvements at the Y,” said Leslie Widdick, YMCA CEO. “We’re in need of upgrades and we need new equipment and are trying to create scholarships for low-income families to be able to use the Y.”

    The Main Street facility has been in existence since 1983 after the previous building located on Broad Street was involved in a fire that led to its demolition. The current building houses a pool, basketball court and several workout areas, including a health and wellness fitness room, complete with treadmills, stationary bikes and free weights.

    In addition, the Y offers group exercise classes, personal training, total body fitness program, aquatics programs for all ages, swimming lessons, sauna/steam rooms, childcare, playground, birthday parties, basketball leagues and spinning classes.

    The spinning room has changed locations from the lower level to street level in a larger room that accommodates 25 spinning stationary bikes.

    “Spin is one of our biggest draws here for our members,” Widdick says. “Classes are usually packed in the mornings and we used to have to turn people away for the classes, so we upgraded the room and added more bikes so more people can come.”

    Joe Adonizio, of Pittston, a lifetime member of the Greater Pittston YMCA, took part in the Spin 4 Pittston, arriving at the Y at 4:30 a.m. Adonizio utilizes most of the Y’s services daily but does not usually attend spin classes.

    He took part for the entire event and, according to his smart watch, he burned 3,100 calories. “I think I ate 6,000 calories when I got home,” he quipped. “It was a great workout and maybe I’ll do it (spin) once a week.

    “The people that go to the Y every day are still going to go everyday, but I think they are moving in the right direction with the upcoming improvements and could bring in new people,” Adonizio said. “I think they’re moving in the right direction.

    “We are very lucky that there are so many great gyms locally, but the Y is so much more than just a gym,” he added. “It has the pool, it has the basketball court, it has the spin room, it has the fitness center; it’s a catch all. The Y is more than weightlifting gym; it’s everything.”

    According to Widdick, in addition to the spinning room and equipment upgrade, new workout machines were purchased for the wellness fitness center.

    Greater Pittston YMCA board member Scott Verdine also took part in the Spin 4 Pittston.

    “We are trying to find out who we are and how are we going to survive,” Verdine said. “We are faced with an aging building and there’s probably a list of 100 things we can probably fix tomorrow.”

    Verdine said the equipment in the wellness fitness center was the first priority, followed by the spinning room/equipment. Both of those objectives have been rectified.

    “We plan on opening up the Main Street entrance to make the Y a 24/7 access to the wellness fitness center,” Verdine said. “Some people like to work different shifts and would like to workout after work.”

    Verdine said the facility will be painted and updated as much as possible to make the YMCA a great experience for all members and guests in the future.


    Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

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