Frost Valley YMCA unveils new Guenther Wellness Center
After touring through the new state-of-the-art health facility, local elected officials, VIPs, and Frost Valley YMCA leadership and staff joined in acknowledging the extraordinary gift of board member Paul Guenther, (Chairman of the New York Philharmonic) whose $1 million contribution helped make the Guenther Family Wellness Center, a reality. The cutting of a giant red ribbon on the stone pillars marked the Official Opening of the Center which took place on Saturday, September 13 on a hillside overlooking the Catskill High Peaks in Claryville.
Guenther, a successful businessman who has a home in the area and is also a resident of New York City, is the Chairman of Frost Valley’s Board of Trustees. He has actively supported the creation of the Wellness Center to update the medical facility of the nation’s only mainstreamed kidney dialysis summer sleep away program and expand mainstreaming opportunities year-round for youth with other health challenges including severe asthma and obesity.
On Saturday, the Ruth Gottscho Dialysis Center, officially moved into its new 16,000-square-foot building at the Guenther Family Wellness Center, which houses a general health care wing, the kidney dialysis unit, an education center and performance theater. The center will serve thousands of people who visit the YMCA each year. Guenther described his involvement with the camp, “My wife Diane and I discovered Frost Valley in the ’70s while exploring the area on our weekend trips to the Catskills. It’s been part of our family’s life ever since. From the beginning of my involvement, I’ve believed in the importance of creating a state-of-the-art health center that matched the quality of this amazing place.”
Congressman Maurice Hinchey addressed the crowd of 100 people, honoring Mr. Guenther’s generosity and Frost Valley’s leadership in creating innovative programs to meet the needs of all children. “My heart and gratitude goes out to you for everything you’ve done and continue to do. Frost Valley complements our school curriculum in natural sciences for thousands of students from New York and New Jersey. It’s been my pleasure to be associated with this organization since 1975. Today, I thank you for the difference in the lives of children and families that you make.”
Frost Valley’s Executive Director, Jerry Huncosky paid tribute to Guenther saying, “Paul has ended every call to Frost Valley by saying, “If you need anything, just call. Paul, you more than answered the call that comes from tens of thousands of visitors every year as well as the whispers that come from the more than 2,000 dialysis campers and well over 1,000 mentally and physically challenged campers that have benefited from our programs. This is a terrific day for Frost Valley and for thousands of children who attend camp every year.”
In addition to the Kidney Program, (which is operated through a partnership with Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York City, and staffed by doctors and nurses from throughout New York State) the Frost Valley YMCA is a premiere education, recreation, and meeting center that provides programming year round for children, school, corporate, and youth groups. Also addressing the crowd was Eva Gottscho, a major founder of the program, who said of the 34-year partnership, “Frost Valley, The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation and Children’s Hospital at Montefiore will never get a divorce – we have too many children to take care of together!”