On June 27th the Greater Carbondale YMCA held its Pioneer Heroes Awards program at the Hotel Anthracite. Over 260 guests gathered to honor four super supporters of the organization who have given their time, talent, and treasure to build up the YMCA. The event began with a reception and cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 6:30.

Heather Murphy, Financial Development Director of the Greater Carbondale YMCA, acted as emcee for the event. The invocation was given by Nancy Esbenshade, followed by welcoming remarks from Board of Trustees member John Price. This was followed by video presentations showcasing of each honoree’s biography as well as his or her contribution to the capital campaign project that resulted in the renovation and expansion of the YMCA facilities.

The first award of the evening, a Volunteer Award, was given to Msgr. Joseph Quinn. Msgr. Quinn arrived in Carbondale as pastor of St. Rose Parish in 2005 and was immediately invited to be a part of the 21st Century Capital Campaign. The video characterized Msgr. Quinn’s role as that of teaching the residents of Carbondale “the art of the impossible” in regard to raising the large amount of money needed to undertake the project.

Once he learned about the project, Msgr. Quinn was hooked and became an enthusiastic supporter of the endeavor. According to Mrs. Murphy, as Honorary Chairman of the campaign, Msgr. Quinn knew just how far to push and when to encourage, helping to take the grand total raised during the capital campaign to over $10 million.

The next award, a Lifetime Award, was given to Dan Totsky. According to Mrs. Murphy, Mr. Totsky has volunteered “millions” of hours at the YMCA. From Board President to Trustee, youth sports coach to MVP in the Men’s Basketball League, he’s done it all, and the Y couldn’t have done it without him.

Mr. Totsky’s boisterous personality is not to be outdone by his extreme generosity, and he’s the driving force behind the Y’s Annual Fred Ciotti Memorial Race. He was President of the Board of Directors during the Capital Campaign and shared the staff’s passion on how to best meet the needs of the greater Carbondale community.

“I’m very honored and pleased to be here. Look at the people who came out for this event. I couldn’t ask for better people. We’ve got a beautiful product here in Carbondale with the Y, the hotel, and downtown Carbondale in general thanks to our mayor always doing a good job,” remarked Mr. Totsky before the ceremony began.

The third award of the evening, a Volunteer Award, was given to John Cosgrove. Mr. Cosgrove’s enthusiasm for the 21st Century Capital Campaign was obvious through his commitment of time and talent. He continually went above and beyond his professional responsibilities to ensure the success of the campaign. In his many roles throughout the community, Mr. Cosgrove still continues to be one of the Greater Carbondale YMCA’s biggest advocates.

Susan Mancuso’s Lifetime Award was the final one bestowed for 2018. Mrs. Mancuso grew up in a family where volunteering at the YMCA was a part of life. Mrs. Mancuso served as Board of Directors President and then graciously took the role of President of the Board of Trustees. As the Capital Campaign Chair, she poured her heart into her work. According to Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Mancuso’s genuine humility prohibits her from seeing how invaluable she is, and will always be, to the Greater Carbondale YMCA and to the community in general.

After receiving her award, Mrs. Mancuso remarked, “I’m not a hero. All of you out there are heroes. The staff, volunteers, and employees of the Y are the true heroes. They’re what keeps this YMCA together and I can never thank them enough for what they do for this community.”

Proceeds from the Pioneer Heroes Awards event support the Greater Carbondale YMCA Endowment Fund which enables the Y to continue its work in perpetuity. In the 130 years since the YMCA was founded in the Carbondale community, thousands have personally benefitted from the Y’s commitment to strengthening its neighbors.

The YMCA Board of Directors has created an Endowment Fund and Heritage Club honoring those who have made a commitment to provide for the future of the YMCA. Heritage Club members, through their current or planned gift, ensure that the values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility endure and that YMCA programs will positively impact the community for generations to come.

Please contact the YMCA if you have already made a provision for the Y in your estate plans and would like to be recognized in the Heritage Club. For more information, contact Heather Murphy, Financial Development Director at (570) 282-2210.