Dunmorean of the Month: Betsy McGrath Ardizoni

By Steve Svetovich

Some individuals like to give back to the community.

Betsy McGrath Ardizoni wanted to do something to honor her late dad, Atty. Harry McGrath.

So she decided to run a golf tournament to honor him and also support programs for children at the YMCA in Dunmore.

She chaired the golf tournament, named after her late dad, this past May 21, to support programs at the local YMCA.

“My dad was just a huge part of the YMCA, so that is why I chose to help the programs there,” Betsy said.

The second annual Harry P. McGrath Memorial Golf Tournament and Celebration was held Friday, May 21, at Glen Oak Country Club. 

Proceeds went to benefit the Greater YMCA Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program through literacy instruction, enrichment activities and positive youth development opportunities. 

Harry P. McGrath

Betsy, 32, who lives her her husband Guy in Dunmore, is also development director at the Scranton Cultural Center. 

Her dad died in September of 2018. Her mom’s name is Joell. Betsy has three brothers: Harry, Bob and Joe.

“We held the golf tournament in his memory, but because of my dad’s connection throughout the years with the YMCA in Dunmore we decided to raise funds to help children get back on track in school. 

“The YMCA runs a six-week summer program that helps grade school children who have fallen behind get back on track for their next grade level.

“My dad was a lifetime member of the YMCA. As an attorney, he specialized in education law. He was a big supporter of children and education. He was a good man, with great values who led a good life. He also held the YMCA in high regard and was a big supporter of the programs there.”

Betsy said 144 people attended the golf event and over $45,000 was raised to support the YMCA summer program for the school age children.

“This money raised will help kids in school while also honoring my father’s legacy.”

Betsy said over 150 school age children have been served since the start of the program. 

The program currently serves incoming first, second and third graders in the Dunmore and Mid Valley School Districts.

“Our goal is to expand even more and offer the program to more school districts,” she said. 

“The goal regarding the program is to get a child’s reading level on track for the next grade level.”

Betsy graduated from Scranton High School in 2007 and Penn State in 2011 where she earned a bachelor of science degree in Labor and Employment Relations. 

She worked in marketing at the Wright Center for three and one-half years before taking the position as development director for the Scranton Cultural Center in January 2020. “I love my job there,” she said.

This McGrath family photo includes, from left: Michele McGrath, Bob McGrath, Joe McGrath, Harry McGrath Jr., Stephanie McGrath holding Ella, Betsy McGrath Ardizoni holding Maeve, Guy Ardizoni, and Joell McGrath holding Harry P. McGrath.

Her husband is a 2000 Dunmore graduate. The couple has a baby on the way, with Betsy expected to deliver this August. “We are so happy and can’t  wait for the baby to come,” she said.

Betsy, who was a cheerleader and played basketball in high school, said she is thrilled money raised from the golf tournament will help younger school age children. “My dad would have liked that since he was such a strong supporter of children and education. It is something he would fight for in his law practice. So in my dad’s name, we feel privileged to help out with this great YMCA program.”

Betsy is on the Board of Directors at the YMCA in Dunmore.

Committee members for the golf tournament included Betsy, Harry McGrath, Jr.; Bill McGrath, Janet Brier, Jeanie McGrath, Lorraine Perry, Matt Haggerty, Kelly Hadley, Chad Vinansky, Brian Loughney, YMCA Board President Bill Dempsey, CEO of the Greater YMCA Trish Fisher, YMCA staff member Robert Dubila and YMCA staff member Meghan Carnevale. 

The late Atty. Harry McGrath was a proud member of the Greater YMCA who specialized in education law, advocating for the rights of students, particularly those with special needs. It became his passion to improve the quality of education in Northeast PA.

The Greater Scranton YMCA is honored to host this annual event in his memory.

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