first federal charitable foundation logo

P: 570.501.2784

First Federal Charitable YWCA 2017 1The Hazleton YWCA received a $50,000 grant from the First Federal Charitable Foundation that it will use to make several renovations to its pool facility. 

The YWCA has not completed any major renovations to the pool and pool area since the facility was dedicated in 1964. Although the pool itself does not need to be replaced, the money will be used to fund repairs that include: cleaning and painting the pool area walls; installing an automated chlorinator; replacing multiple doors and frames; adding new starting blocks, storage benches and ladders; completing grouting work in the pool; painting a mural on the wall and other miscellaneous items.

Celeste Samec, CEO of the Hazleton YWCA, said, “We are grateful to the First Federal Charitable Foundation for providing this grant for our restoration project. We are hopeful that these much-needed renovations will provide the YWCA with the opportunity to continue to serve the community as it has been for so many generations.”

The YWCA, which serves 3,000 members and more than 1,500 non-members each year, has programs and services available for children and adults of all ages. It provides competitive and non-competitive swimming opportunities for children and adults. In addition to offering learn-to-swim classes, the YWCA’s pool gives swimmers of all ages and levels a place to exercise, including during the Twinges for Hinges arthritis classes for the older generation of swimmers. The YWCA pool is open seven days a week and has times available for community open swimming, training for swimmers preparing for Triathlons or swimming competitions and Masters swimming for older, non-competitive swimmers.

Megan Kennedy, executive director of the First Federal Charitable Foundation, said, “The Hazleton YWCA has impacted countless lives in its more than 100 years of service so we were honored to be able to provide this grant for the pool renovations. The YWCA has the only indoor pool that is open to the public in Greater Hazleton so it is certainly a vital asset to the community and an aid in providing a diversity of physical fitness options for area residents.”

The YWCA’s service in Greater Hazleton can be traced back to 1906, when it began providing services for Hazleton residents and members of the surrounding communities. In 1958, the Hazleton YWCA and the Greater Hazleton YMCA entered into a partnership and, three years later, a $1 million capital campaign led to the construction of the current YWCA facility at 75 South Church Street in Hazleton. In 2016, the organization transitioned to operating solely as a YWCA with one identity and governing board of directors. The YWCA remains dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

In addition to the fitness equipment inside its facility, the YWCA offers a variety of workout programs that range from low-impact offerings like Chair Yoga up to high-intensity boot camp and body pump programs. The sports and recreation programs include aquatics, basketball, flag football, floor hockey, soccer and the HAZY Swim Team. The summer Camp Discovery session provides supervised activities that teach core values and leadership skills. Children have fun while they build confidence, appreciate teamwork and gain independence. The camp’s activities allow kids to create arts and crafts, climb a rock wall, swim, participate in field trips, appreciate nature and better understand our many cultures.

The YWCA is still actively accepting donations for planned upgrades to other aspects of its facility. To donate online, visit and click the Donate button at the top of the homepage. For more information or to receive a donation card, contact the YWCA at 570-455-2046.

The First Federal Charitable Foundation was established to support worthwhile community causes. It strives to nurture nonprofit institutions and programs that will effectively serve those in need from the community, empower nonprofit institutions and programs that will expand their presence in and services to the area, and promote opportunities for new nonprofit institutions and programs that will serve the unserved.

Nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) IRS designation that are located in Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties are eligible to apply for a grant. Any organization whose headquarters is in another county but services either Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon or Columbia counties may apply for a grant to be used in one of those counties.

For more information on the foundation or to obtain a grant application, visit or call 570-501-2784.

CAPTION: YWCA of Hazleton CEO Celeste Samec, pictured at center, accepts a $50,000 grant check from First Federal Charitable Foundation Executive Director Megan Kennedy, at left. Also pictured is Anthony Cusatis, president of the First Federal Charitable Foundation Board of Directors.

First Federal Charitable Foundation

8 West Broad Street, Suite 208
Hazleton, PA 18201
P: 570.501.2784