Last updated: October 29. 2013 11:37PM - 3446 Views
JOE HEALEY jhealey@psdispatch.com

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The man who has led the Greater Pittston YMCA for the past two years has resigned.

Craig M. Lukatch of Hazleton announced his resignation on his Facebook page on Tuesday, effective immediately.

“It was for personal reasons,” Lukatch said. “It’s something I’ve been considering for some time. The stress of the job, working 7 days a week, it gets to you.”

The resignation comes a week after the non-profit asked for financial help from the city of Pittston, according to a source inside City Hall.

Lukatch said membership is up, but community support is down.

“We need to do a better job of letting the community know what we’re all about,” he said. “A lot of support has dried up.”

Lukatch said the non-profit’s finances and his resignation were unrelated. The YMCA board of directors was scheduled to meet last night.

“During the last 26 months (2 years) I have worked tirelessly and hard to build up the YMCA as a focal point for the community to serve the community especially families,” Lukatch wrote. “I believe in the Y and our work. It is because of the youth, families, and all the members that this Y became a great place.”

Previous to his tenure at the YMCA, which began in August 2011, he was employed as director of development for the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association in Forty Fort. There he was responsible for marketing and fundraising for its organization.

In an interview in 2011, Lukatch said he grew up at the Hazleton Y.

“It’s kind of funny how you grow up in a community and then your memories don’t change at that Y,” he said. “What I’m getting at is that pool is still the same, you step back into that pool area after not being there for awhile and you just have those memories of jumping in, learning how to dive.”

Under Lukatch, the facility became more visible as a Main Street institution with the addition of three multicolored “Y” signs adorning the front of the building. The Y also installed air conditioning throughout the first floor, began renovating all the locker rooms, refurbished a room for children’s programming, and a Welcome Center that is comparable to what is offered and seen at a big-city YMCA. The facility also began a member-sharing agreement with the Wilkes-Barre YMCA.

“I want to personally thank my staff for their dedication and hard work sacrificing a lot to make this YMCA a great place for our members,” he wrote. “The YMCA is a wonderful cause that does so much good for the community. I love all of you and thank you for allowing me to be the captain of a great ship. I will miss all of you.”

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