Grant to support aquatics staffing at YMCA in Dunmore

Shown at the presentation are, from left: Ken Brewster, Aquatics Director, Greater Scranton YMCA; Cathy Fitzpatrick, Grants and Scholarships Manager, Scranton Area Community Foundation, and Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO, Scranton Area Community Foundation.

The Greater Scranton YMCA was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to support aquatics staffing at the YMCA.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Scranton YMCA was able to fully staff both pools in its facility and offer 283 swim lessons per session. Following the pandemic, the YMCA has only been able to offer 183 swim lessons per session, a reduction of more than 600 swim lessons annually. The biggest loss, though, has been to our community, as learning to swim is one of the most important life lessons a child can learn.

This grant award from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, in conjunction with the $14,000 grant award the Greater Scranton YMCA received in May, 2022 from the Scranton Area Community Foundation, has allowed the YMCA to increase lifeguard pay rates with the goal of attracting more staff, as well as retaining existing staff who need a pay increase. Adding more team members to the aquatics department will directly impact the YMCA’s capacity to provide needed services to our community, including offering an increased number of life- saving swim lessons annually, making more pool time available to members and guests, and ensuring the resources are available to implement more youth, adult and family programming.

“We are so grateful to the Robert H. Spitz Foundation for their generous support of our YMCA,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “This grant award, along with the grant we received from the Scranton Area Community Foundation, will allow our YMCA to increase the number of swim lessons we offer annually, as well as add additional lifeguards to our team.”

For more information about aquatics programming at the Greater Scranton YMCA, contact Ken Brewster, Aquatics Director, at or call (570) 828- 3112.

Robert H. Spitz Foundation Offers Grant Funding for Area Nonprofits

logo_safThe Robert H. Spitz Foundation, administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, announces its 2019 grant cycle and invites local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to apply for grant funding. Priority areas for 2019 include veterans’ affairs and veteran-oriented programs; animal welfare, including programs that support humane education, adoption for homeless animals, spay/neuter, and rescue efforts, and which help the economically disadvantaged and the elderly to keep their companion animals; and support for Jewish culture, heritage, community, and cemetery support.

Organizations interested in receiving an invitation to submit a grant application may submit a letter of intent (LOI) summarizing the project or program including the amount of funding requested via email to Cathy Fitzpatrick, Scranton Area Community Foundation Grants and Scholarships Manager: Letters of intent are due by 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2019. Letters of intent will be reviewed and qualifying organizations will be invited to submit a completed application. Completed applications will be due June 1, 2019.

The Robert H. Spitz Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports initiatives and programs serving the residents of Lackawanna County and Northeastern Pennsylvania. Robert H. Spitz was born in Scranton and was a 1955 graduate of Scranton Central High School and the University of Miami, Florida. Before retirement, Spitz had been employed by the U.S. Department of Labor and was also the owner of several local Arby’s restaurants. The Robert H. Spitz Foundation was established from his estate in 2015. To date, the Robert H. Spitz Foundation has provided over $1.3 million in funding to the community.

For more information on the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, please contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.

Additional information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at