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WILKES-BARRE, PA, 11/8/2021 —The 2021 Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA’s Gary A. Michak Memorial Ride was held on September 18, 2021. The event is held annually to raise funds to support deserving children from our single-parent community in Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA Child Care Programs at the Wilkes-Barre branch.

The bicycle ride traditionally takes place around Harvey’s Lake, held in memory of Gary A. Michak. Gary dedicated his life to giving back to others. Along with the YMCA, members of the Gary’s Corner Committee promote this annual event as a way to continue Gary’s legacy and his commitment to our community.

“It’s really special to come together in Gary’s memory to gather support for the children of the Y, and see the dedication to our community,” said Jim Thomas, CEO, Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA. “Right now, the need for child care scholarships is greater than ever.”

The event this year, which included a breakfast following the ride, raised over $5,000 in scholarship funding. All proceeds from the event support the Gary A. Michak Memorial Scholarship for YMCA Child Care, ultimately enabling parents to continue to work knowing their children have a safe place to learn and grow.

The Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA Child Care Center is a branch of the Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA. The center, which is a four-star Keystone Stars certified facility, continues to provide an educational experience for children who may not otherwise have this opportunity, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. YMCA child care services continue to expand in our region, most recently with the opening of a new site in Forty Fort, as well as plans to open an additional site in the Pittston area in January.

“We are so incredibly grateful to the Gary’s Corner Committee for continuing to offer support,” said Thomas. “Because of community partners like you, the children of the YMCA will continue to have a safe place to learn and grow.”

If you would like to help support a child in need of YMCA services, you can donate to the 2021 Gary A. Michak Memorial Fund online at

Pictured from left: Courtney Burgess-Michak, Gary’s Corner Committee; Sean McGrath, Gary’s Corner Committee; James Thomas, CEO, Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA; Jennifer Brennan, Director of Education & Child Care Services, Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA.

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About the Y

Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationship and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. Learn more at

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