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Catholic Charities Celebrates CYO Expansion

FULTON, NY – Youth participating in Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s CYO program now have even more to enjoy when they visit the CYO. Thanks to the efforts of the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club, the CYO program now has a new computer / game room where youth can use one of the several computers, enjoy board games and card games, or just spend time visiting and making new friends.

Board members and staff of Catholic Charities of Oswego County welcome members of the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club and representatives from the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce for the opening of the CYO Program’s new computer / game room. In the front from left are: Matthew West of the chamber; President of the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club and Pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Fulton, Dave Cramer; Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Mary-Margaret Pezzella-Pekow; CYO Director, Jim Smiley; Holly Carpenter, representing Senator Patty Ritchie; Executive Director of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Beth Hilton; and chamber board member, Linda Thomas-Caster of Partners In Integrity Realty. In back from left are Rotary members, Jerry Seguin, director of operations for the Fulton City School District; Bill Lynch, superintendent of the Fulton City School District; chamber board president, Tom Greco of Fulton Savings Bank; and chamber members Sandy Farrands, Morgan Burnell and Diane Burnell of Realty USA.
Board members and staff of Catholic Charities of Oswego County welcome members of the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club and representatives from the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce for the opening of the CYO Program’s new computer / game room. In the front from left are: Matthew West of the chamber; President of the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club and Pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Fulton, Dave Cramer; Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Mary-Margaret Pezzella-Pekow; CYO Director, Jim Smiley; Holly Carpenter, representing Senator Patty Ritchie; Executive Director of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Beth Hilton; and chamber board member, Linda Thomas-Caster of Partners In Integrity Realty. In back from left are Rotary members, Jerry Seguin, director of operations for the Fulton City School District; Bill Lynch, superintendent of the Fulton City School District; chamber board president, Tom Greco of Fulton Savings Bank; and chamber members Sandy Farrands, Morgan Burnell and Diane Burnell of Realty USA.

Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Mary-Margaret Pezzella-Pekow and CYO Director, Jim Smiley, welcomed members of the Fulton Rotary Club and the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce for a grand opening celebration and open house.

Visitors had the opportunity to view the new room and tour the CYO facilities. President of the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club and Pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Fulton, Dave Cramer was impressed with what he saw.

“The CYO program is a great resource for the youth of our community. It is a very well run program and I am impressed with its scope and the variety of activities that it offers. We know the need for the CYO program exists and we are happy that we were able to help,” said Cramer.

In addition to a generous donation from the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club, the group was also instrumental in assisting Catholic Charities in procuring a grant for more funds.

“We helped CYO Director, Jim Smiley apply for a simplified grant from our District Rotary Club. Rotary has always been involved in helping youth.  Several of our members are keenly aware of the CYO program and all that it does for our community, so supporting the CYO program is a natural fit for us,” explained Cramer.

For the CYO program, the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club’s support for the CYO program could not have come at a better time.

“Recent budget cuts have placed our CYO program in desperate need of funds. “Many area youth and their parents utilize the programs offered through CYO. The support we receive from individuals, businesses and caring organizations such as the Fulton Noontime Rotary are more important than ever to the continuance of our CYO program. We greatly appreciate the efforts of the Fulton Noontime Rotary Club to help us enhance and continue this worthwhile program that does so much for our youth and their families,” said Pezzella-Pekow.

President of the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Brain Caswell of Caswell & Associates, Certified Public Accounts, recognized the importance of the collaboration.

“What a great example of two outstanding organizations working together to benefit our youth. The youth of our community is our greatest asset and both organizations recognize the need to continue to support our youth,” said Caswell.

Open to all area youth the CYO program offers a safe, well supervised, friendly environment where youth can participate in a variety of programs that promote positive development including; an after school program, a mentoring program, summer recreation, and a Saturday drop in program that offers youth the opportunity for healthy interaction with their peers.

Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego, NYS Office of Children and Family Services through Oswego City/County Youth Bureau, and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations.