You are reading

St. Sebastian’s Parish Center in ‘dire need of repairs,’ turns to community to raise $1 million

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 or send a check to:

St. Sebastian Parish Center
c/o Harry Connor
39-60 57th Street
Woodside, NY 11377


email the author:


Click for Comments 
Sharon Nilson

What a shame! Some of my favorite sports started there. We were the 1969 dolphinettes and won the championship, under Mrs.Coynes dictatorship! Practice 3x a week 6:15-8:30. Kept you off the street. Basketball games, we would play on weekends. Again, off the streets. I loved it there and I wish the people who lived around there now would all donate, like our families did, so their children had somewhere to go! Not that the park was bad!


Perhaps they could get the catican to sell one of their paintings ar a statue. That’ll get a few million!


You people mean well but you dont have a clue what to do. You cant raise funds by running events that cost money to run. Like a bazaar cost money to run, renting out the gym, pool, ect cost money. There is also people who line their own pockets ,its true, so- what do you do and no, day laboers and the homeless are not the answer, sure its good to use them but lets be honest, do they have the skills and do you want it done this century. Problem here is we aren’t a community anymore, we are the melting pot and nobody here knows each other. There is no cohesiveness like years ago because no group of people in this melting pot trusts the other groups. I would say get contractors to donate the work and the equipment but costs of doing business what they are today are killing the small business guy as it is and alot of them are new immigrants just making the way into the business world and aren’t able to. So how do we raise a million dollars? Its tough no doubt, but the answer is out there. Anyone have it, without the jokes or sarcastic comment? Maybe develop a fund, If everyone who lives in the area sent $10 to the fund it could be a start, get people motivated when they see progress, maybe we get to the goal. Somebody out there has the answer, you would be doing the community a world of good, a chance to help people enjoy themselves, instead of saying i dont care.


Get all the people from the homeless shelters to do something instead of waiting out front of the free room and waiting for the check to come. Let them do something for the free room and check


After years of the fathers stealing money buying themselves nice things rather than invest in the church.. good ridense


Remember the good old days when we used to have a Parish Bazaar every year? It brought neighbors together for fun and games and raised money for the Parish! How about we bring back this community get together?


I hope that the Parish Center is able to raise these funds. I would encourage anyone in the area to come around and take a look at the facility. There is a pretty decent gym and pool in the building. Where else in the neighborhood can you swim laps and not be bothered by a million people. The building DOES, however need a little TLC. It is open to everyone, Catholic or not.


This community resource is well worth preserving. Perhaps advertising the pool for use by different groups would boost income.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.