March 24, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan
The St. Sebastian’s Parish Center in Woodside is looking to raise $1 million in donations to help keep it afloat.
The Parish Center, which provides athletic facilities and programming to the community at 39-60 57th Street, began an online crowdfunding campaign yesterday with a goal of $1 million to help repair its facility. The online fundraiser had reached nearly $8,000 by Friday afternoon.
“Our beloved St. Sebastian Parish Center is in dire need of financial assistance. The Parish Center relies heavily on memberships as a source of revenue. With traditional health clubs popping up all around our building the competition is fierce,” reads a statement on the fundraising page. “If we don’t take action soon we are in jeopardy of losing the Parish Center.”
The Parish Center has been operating at a loss for years, explains the fundraising website, running a deficit of $294,000 in 2015. There is a desperate need to make repairs to the swimming pool infrastructure to avoid losing the ability to use the pool, according to the website.
The statement lays out two key initiatives of the fundraiser.
First, the dehumidification system in the swimming pool needs to be replaced immediately, which is where the first collected funds will go. The replacement will likely cost several hundred thousand dollars.
“If we had to close the pool for any extended period of time it would have a devastating financial impact,” the page explains of the urgency of the repairs.
Second, the page explains, the center is looking to reach year-over-year financial stability, and has a committee looking at various ways to increase revenue and lower operating costs.
“We are highly confident that we can reduce the annual operating deficit to less than $99,000. Father Abels has confirmed that this is an amount that the Church can continue to support for years to come. However, our goal is to bring the facility as close to a zero dollar deficit as possible,” the page explains.
The facility hosts programming for all ages, including kids sports programming and events for seniors in the community. “It is a facility that is relied on by everyone in our community from the youngest to the oldest,” the fundraising page explains.
The Parish Center is looking for donations of all amounts that can be given either online or sent by check to the parish center. Those donating $1,000 or more will receive a complimentary ticket to the Parish Center 50th Anniversary Gala next year.
To donate visit https://www.youcaring.com/stsebastianparishcenter-772620 or send a check to:
St. Sebastian Parish Center
c/o Harry Connor
39-60 57th Street
Woodside, NY 11377