Your View: Greater Pittston YMCA Interim CEO pens letter explaining the mission of the organization

January 28th, 2016 3:37 pm

Dear Editor,

My name is Robert Duliba, the interim CEO of the Greater Pittston YMCA. I have been with the Y for almost four years, serving in many different capacities within that time. Now I have the humble opportunity to lead this community organization.

The Y has seen tremendous turnover in leadership — excessive, to be truthful. Over the course of seven years the Y has had four CEOs and two interim CEOs, not including myself as the current. That’s six different CEOs not staying more than a few years, with many different factors contributing to their departure. The Y has been struggling for the past few years and it hasn’t been an easy road. With the change in leadership came different ideas, sometimes conflicting, of how the Y can be successful.

So I ask, what is the Y?

In response to Ms. Williams’ letter printed in the Jan. 24 issue of the Sunday Dispatch, the Y is dedicated to serving our community; from infants to active older adults, the Y is a place for everyone to become a better us! That’s right, a better us! Yes, healthy living is one of our areas of focus, but so is youth development and social responsibility. That notion that the Y is just a “gym and swim” is just not true. We are so much more! Within the walls of the Y you will find a wide range of individuals, young and old, working out together, pushing and learning from each other. Healthy living is more than just working out, it’s how you take your whole life and make it better.

Five area Ys have received $100,000 grant from Highmark to implement the Enchance Fitness program. This fitness program is specially designed for active older adults to keep them moving, energized and allow them to live happy and sustainable lives. We recognized a lacking in this area and a stronger focus needed to be put on our older adults. This program is free to anyone who applies, including our current members. We are in the process of training our staff to run this program and hope to see it available to the public within a few weeks.

With this amazing opportunity its allowing us to take a look at the big picture and see what more we can be doing to better our community. The Y has a social responsibility to step in where its community can’t. The Y is not a gym, we are a charity. No profit is made. All monies help the organization and the community it helps to support. In turn we need the community to realize how important the Y is and their support is more crucial than ever. The community needs the Y to be a place of safety and comfort for all, especially for kids. The youth come here to learn, grow and thrive in an environment that is caring, honest, respectful and responsible. Here you will see kids playing a pick-up game of basketball or learning how to read, while their parents are taking an exercise class or getting a few laps in at the pool. This atmosphere you cannot find anywhere else.

The Y’s motto is, “For a better us!”

Whether a person uses us or not, the Y will always be here. In the event that they may need us, our doors will always be open, welcoming them to the Y and asking them how we can help. I urge this community to support one another. I urge this community to support all local non-profits as we all are here for you, the community. I urge all local non-profits to support this community in a way that the Y can’t and we, the Y, will do the same.


Robert Duliba

Interim CEO, Greater Pittston YMCA