Solvay-Geddes Community Youth Center reopens with help of donations

Local News

SOLVAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt many businesses and nonprofits. We first told you about the Solvay-Geddes Community Youth Center in July on the verge of closing for good, but with the community’s help, they’re back up and running.

The CYC has been a longtime staple for many, especially for Fran Letizia, who serves as the President of the Solvay-Geddes Tigers Athletic Club.

Now, I’m 83 years old and I’ve been a member since I was 18 years old, that’s 65 years! So, a lot of me is in this building and the programs that are here. I see the kids come in, I see the kids go out, I see the programs we do, the bingo we do, I see what we generate and the good we do, and I think for the community, I think the Solvay Tigers does an awful lot. 

Fran Letizia — President, Solvay-Geddes Tigers Athletic Club

The pandemic closed down the building and programs for more than six months. During that time, a lot of money was going out to keep the facility running, but none was coming in.

“We were using our funds that we had from doing bingo. What happened was with that 6-month period we were closed, we used about 45,000 dollars and that’s like over half of what we had,” explained Carl Libertone, reopening chairman of the Solvay-Geddes Community Youth Center.

That’s exactly when the community rallied together to keep the Solvay-Geddes CYC up and running.

Those near and far raised nearly a total of $70,000 in donations. The GoFundMe raised more than $42,000 of that.

If it weren’t from the selfless giving, the Youth Center most likely would have closed for good.

“It’s heartfelt to see people that have donated, people that have moved away but didn’t forget their roots. They donated very generously to our cause” Letizia said.

It’s a treasure the Solvay-Geddes community will continue to hold onto, especially now that the Onondaga County Executive’s office said that Tigers can reopen for bingo, which generates much of the revenue to fund the programs and maintain the facility.

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