If you are a member of the media working on a story regarding the YMCA, looking for video or photography at the YMCA or are just looking for story ideas, please contact:
Mary Flagg Lewis, Marketing Coordinator: (724) 658-4766 ext. 13


Here’s what’s been happening at your neighborhood Y. Many people have no idea how hard we work in our community. Please view some of our stories to learn more about us.

  • YMCA Youth Campaign Underway

    May 13, 2016

    NEW CASTLE, PA, May 13, 2016 - Every day, the New Castle Community YMCA gives kids in Lawrence County the support they need to learn, grow and thrive. From mentoring to food security, disease prevention to athletics, soccer to dance classes, everything we do helps strengthen our neighborhood and the people who live here. 

    All kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve, under the guidance of caring adults who believe in their potential. We see every interaction with young people as an opportunity for learning and development—all grounded in the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

    Keeping Lawrence County great is a full-time job. Every day, our children face new challenges that create a greater need for the work we do, and we need your help to do it. Whether you can give one dollar or one thousand, your gift can help Lawrence County and everyone in it shine.

    For a better you. For a better community. For a better us.™

    Learn more about what the Y does every day, 365 days of the year, in our 2015 Impact Report.

    Donate Today


  • Monthly Membership Fee Change

    March 29, 2016

    Attention Y members!

    The monthly membership fee withdrawal date is changing.  Beginning May 2016, your payment will be withdrawn on the 5th of the month; not on the 15th. This change will affect every member who has elected to have his/her monthly membership fees automatically withdrawn from a bank or credit card account. This may affect your bank or credit card funds availability, so please budget accordingly!

    If you have any questions or concerns, please Dorice Shover, Human Resources Director, at or call (724) 658-4766.


    March 16, 2016

    New Castle, PA – The New Castle Community YMCA is proud to announce that its Child Care Center has boosted its rating in Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS program and has been recognized with a STAR 4 designation from the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning. The YMCA Child Care Center provides child care services for approximately 67 children ages 12 months to 12 years, as well as full-day and half-day preschool classes for 32 children ages 3 to 5.

    “We are thrilled that our hard work has allowed us to achieve a higher STAR 4 quality rating! The YMCA Child Care Center has participated in Keystone STARS since 2006 because we know it’s important provide a safe, happy, quality learning experience for kids, to prepare them to succeed in school and in life,” said Kelly Bucci, M.Ed., Child Care Director.

    STAR 4 is the highest rating available from Keystone STARS. To earn it, the YMCA Child Care Center had to meet research-based standards for program quality. For example, at least half of lead teachers in STAR 4 child care centers must have a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Teachers assess children’s skills three times a year, and hold at least two family conferences each year to discuss the child’s progress and behavioral, social and physical needs.

    “Our staff has worked very hard to get where we are,” says Bucci. “The day we got the call that we had earned the STAR 4 rating, there was such excitement. We do great things every day, and it’s nice to have validation and recognition for that.”

    Keystone STARS is a rating system that offers families a way to evaluate the quality of child care programs, so that they can make an informed decision that best suits their needs, as well as the needs of their children. As STAR levels increase from a STAR 1 through a STAR 4, so do the requirements for meeting higher standards of quality. Keystone STARS also provides training to advance staff education, technical assistance to help programs meet STAR level requirements, and additional resources through support grants and merit awards to support continued quality improvements. 

    Keystone STARS quality standards build upon health and safety requirements already regulated by the Department of Human Services. Nearly 3,900 Keystone STARS providers are serving approximately 166,000 children from birth to age 12 in 2014-2015.   


  • YMCA Names Y-Zone Branch Executive Director

    February 3, 2016

    Justin Umbs, Branch Executive Director at Y-ZoneNew Castle, PA The New Castle Community YMCA is pleased to announce the promotion of Justin Umbs to Branch Executive Director of the Y-Zone. Umbs previously served as the YMCA Program Director and has been serving as Interim Branch Executive Director since December 2015.

    As the Branch Executive Director, Umbs is responsible for all aspects of operations at the Y-Zone, including staffing, programming and membership development. He will also step in as president of the L.C. Select Soccer Club, director of the Top Spin Volleyball Club, and tournament director for OVR Volleyball.

    Umbs has spent the past three years leading the YMCA’s Youth & Family Programs. Prior to his tenure at the Y, Umbs taught Physical Education in McDowell County, West Virginia. He is a graduate of Neshannock High School and Slippery Rock University. Umbs is also a member of the New Castle Rotary and serves on its Board of Directors.

    Umbs says his immediate goal is to enhance the YMCA culture at the Y-Zone. That includes promoting the YMCA’s four core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.

    “At the Y-Zone, we do sports really well,” says Umbs. “But we want to be more than just a sports facility. We want to instill good values in every kid that walks through our doors.”

    The Y-Zone is a branch of the New Castle Community YMCA, which serves all of Lawrence County. The Y-Zone offers programs for all ages, from preschoolers to seniors. Facilities include two regulation basketball courts, an indoor turf field, five outdoor soccer fields, a batting cage, and wellness center with free weights. It is also home to a variety of sports leagues, including indoor & outdoor soccer, basketball, volleyball and lacrosse.

    Umbs sees great potential in the Y-Zone; his future plans are to expand the programs and services offered by the branch.

    “I’d like to see the Y-Zone be able to offer something to every member of the community. I see this as a place where anyone can come realize their full potential by being a part of something greater than themselves. Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice to help youth & families build a healthy body, mind and spirit. I look forward to living out that mission at the Y-Zone.”

  • #YActsofKindness

    November 30, 2015

    This year, the Y is counting down the days until Christmas by doing one random act of kindness each day.

    You can get into the spirit, too. Just share your act of kindness on Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtag #YActsofKindness. Together, we will make the holidays merry & bright!


    November 19, 2015

    Christmas at the Y just got a whole lot merrier!

    This year, from November 15 - December 15, bring a friend to the YMCA. If your friend joins, we'll enter you BOTH to win one of several great prizes:

    • Grand Prize: Microsoft Surface tablet & accessories
    • First Prize: Dell 8" HD tablet & case
    • Second Prize: Your choice of custom YMCA apparel
    • 6 Third Prizes: 30-minute personal training session


    Contest limited to Y members in good standing; New Castle Community YMCA employess and their immediate family members are not eligible. Drawing will be held December 16, 2015. Winners will be contacted.

  • Phil Fitts Ford presents the YMCA T-Day 5K Run/Walk

    November 10, 2015

    NEW CASTLE, Pa – The New Castle Community YMCA will once again host its annual T-Day 5K Run/Walk on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015, to benefit the Y’s youth scholarship fund. Presented by Phil Fitts Ford & Lincoln, this event – now in its 7th year - gives families a chance to enjoy fellowship and friendly competition together before gathering at the table to give thanks.

    About the Race

    The T-Day 5K is open to people of all ages. “Runners, walkers and their families are invited to participate,” said Y-Zone Branch Executive and race coordinator Jason Kmick. “Wheelchairs, strollers, even pets on leashes are welcome.”

    “As a business owner here in New Castle, I find it very important to support our community,” said Phil Fitts, the race sponsor of note. “Sponsoring the Y’s annual T-Day 5k Run/Walk is a great way to give back to the community that supports Phil Fitts Ford and bring people together on the holidays for a fun, health-minded event.”

    The race will feature a live DJ, refreshments and an awards ceremony after the race. The top male and female overall finishers and the top three finishers in each age group will receive a medal. Age groups are: 14 & under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79 and 80+.

    “We expect to see at least 400 participants with their families on Thanksgiving morning,” Kmick said.

    Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. inside the YMCA gymnasium. Race packets will be distributed and t-shirts will be available while supplies last. The gym will also be open for participants to warm up before the race.

    The race starts at 9 a.m. in front of the Downtown YMCA and the course winds through downtown New Castle. Registration forms and course maps are available at Registration is $25/person; race day registrations will be accepted.

    According to Kmick, “The T-Day 5K supports the Y’s Youth Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to neighbors in crisis. We don’t turn anyone away from the Y because of inability to pay for membership or programs. Most often youth and families are referred to us by teachers, counselors and principals, but anyone can apply for financial assistance.”

  • Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast

    November 10, 2015

    NEW CASTLE, Pa. – The New Castle Community YMCA will host its annual community Thanksgiving Praise breakfast at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, November 24. The event, which is open to the public, includes a full complimentary breakfast provided by Medure’s Catering, as well as an inspirational message and special music.

     “Coming to the Y for the prayer breakfast is a wonderful way to nourish your body, mind, and spirit,” says Chief Executive Officer Richard Lyons. “We believe bringing the public together to worship and fellowship will strengthen our ties to each other, and build a stronger community.”

    Rev. Nathan Loudon, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of New Castle, will be the guest speaker.

    About our Speaker

    The Rev Nathan J. Loudon is a return native of New Castle, PA. His parents, the Rev. Dr. John B. “Mike” and Joyce E. Loudon, were both born and raised here. Nathan’s father pastored the Highland U.P. Church from 1978-1987. Nathan earned his B.A. in Theater/Religion in 2001 from Bethany College of Lindsborg, KS before earning his MDIV. at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2005.

    Ordained to ministry in July of 2005, Nathan previously pastored the First Presbyterian Church in Ellsworth Kansas from 2005-2011. He followed a call to Pastor the First Presbyterian of New Castle in August of 2011, where he serves today.

    Nathan has been married to Stephanie M. Loudon for 14 years. In addition to being a wife & mother, Mrs. Loudon is employed by the Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County.

    The Loudons have four children: William (11), Claire (9), Emma (6), and Maggie (5), and one loveable dog named “Muffin.” They reside in Neshannock Township, less than a mile from Nathan’s childhood home on the North Hill.

  • My Y is Every Y in PA

    November 6, 2015

    A membership at the New Castle Community YMCA just got more valuable. New Castle has joined YMCAs across Pennsylvania in a new agreement that lets members any participating facility, free of charge.

    Stay active and healthy, through spirit, mind, and body, no matter where you travel in Pennsylvania. Just bring your membership card and photo ID and enjoy free access to almost every Y in Pennsylvania. 

    Now you can get out and explore Pennsylvania and still stay connected to the Y! 

    View a list of participating YMCAs.

    Some restrictions may apply. My Y is Every Y participants must use their home branch at least 50% of the time. SilverSneaker and Silver & Fit members do not qualify. Please call or visit the website of the Y you plan to visit for schedules and to confirm participation.

  • Downtown YMCA Grand Re-Opening Party

    October 2, 2015


    The New Castle Community YMCA invites you to celebrate the completion of its downtown building renovations at a Grand Re-Opening Party on October 24, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Members of the community will have the chance to tour our renovations, participate in games & activities, and enjoy entertainment & refreshments.

    The party is open to all of New Castle. Guests will enjoy outdoor games, indoor activities, and on-site entertainment. Everyone will be treated to a tour of the recent renovations and have the chance to participate in wellness activities, such as mini-fitness classes and family swim time, free of charge. Refreshments will be provided throughout the afternoon.

    The renovations are part of our $2.4 million “Strengthening the Heart of Our Community” capital campaign. With the help of a $1 million matching grant from the May Emma Hoyt Foundation, the YMCA upgraded & updated its 65,000 sq. ft. facility in downtown New Castle. The construction, which took place from June – October 2015, includes: new family-friendly locker rooms, new men’s and women’s locker rooms, an expanded youth center, a new community room, a new drop-in child watch center for members using the Y, new wellness and free weight equipment, all new exterior windows, renovated elevator, and other improvements throughout the building.

    Richard Lyons, the Y’s Chief Executive Officer, says the improvements will help the YMCA remain a fixture in New Castle for many years to come. “These upgrades and improvements will not only help us meet the needs of our current members,  they will help us expand the kinds of programs we can offer to our membership and to the entire community. We look forward to welcoming more people into our Y family and maintaining our commitment to the greater New Castle area.”

    The Y has been a part of New Castle for nearly 150 years and continues to be a leader in improving the quality of life of Lawrence County residents. We strive to make the Y available to everyone in our community, regardless of their age, income or background. In fact, about 1 in 4 members receive financial assistance for membership and programs.

News & Events


For questions about News, please contact:
Mary Flagg Lewis Marketing Coordinator