HARRISBURG, Pa (WHTM) – Highmark donated $100,000 to Harrisburg City to fund summer enrichment programs for youth.
For the fifth straight year, Highmark has donated big money to Harrisburg. Susan Hubley, Dir. of Community Affairs for Highmark, said the philanthropy is a growing tradition for the insurance company.
“As we all know, active kids are healthy kids,” she said.
The funding will help at least 1,000 city youth enroll into summer programs such as basketball games, golfing outings, field trips, and pool activities. Mayor Eric Papenfuse will also use the money to hire staff; such as a 16-year-old lifeguard names Jayden Selvey.
“[I’m excited about] saving people…telling to people not to do bad things,” he said.
The teen said he is in the Abraxas program and wants to get his life on a good track.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “Trying to stay out of trouble.”
Due to staffing issues and bad weather canceling field trips, the City only spent $55,000 of its $100,000 donation in 2015. Papenfuse said he would use the remainder of the $45,000 and put it towards more programs and upgrades to services this summer.
An exact breakdown was not available. Harrisburg City Council was meeting with Parks and Recreation workers Tuesday evening to discuss a budget for programs.
The mayor said the programs aim to keep kids active and safe all summer long.
“It’s not only about creating healthy lifestyle patterns for our youth…but, it’s also giving them positive activities…a means of staying out of trouble like Jayden.”