SCYC Faces Funding Dilemma; Asks for Community Support

With their main source of funding in jeopardy, the Starke County Youth Club is seeking an increase in local contributions. To that end, Executive Director Irene Szakonyi approached the county commissioners at their meeting Monday morning explaining their situation and asked for ideas to increase awareness of the organization and its plight.

Szakonyi explained that the organization served roughly 600 students and their families in grades K-12 last year, with the majority of students coming from low-income homes. She said 60 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and the club is beneficial to its participants with 80 percent of kids who regularly attend SCYC meeting their requirements for language. On top of that, 90 percent of the students who attend regularly meet their requirements for math.

Szakonyi said students and parents are happy with the programs they offer, but they’re running into a funding dilemma. The sequester indicates that funds will be cut by 25 percent, and to cover that, Szakonyi said they need more support from the community.

Commissioner Kathy Norem said the county has held Starke United fund drives in the past, but they have not been very successful.

For more information on SCYC or to donate, call (574) 772-1600 ext. 1851 or visit