Nathalie Garcia wins David Swope Scholarship

July 11, 2018 by karen

Congratulations to our JV inaugural David Swope Educational Scholarship winner, Nathalie Garcia!

 

David Swope Scholarship award winner Nathalie Garcia
David Swope Scholarship award winner Nathalie with Aquatics Director Patrick

In 1973 David Swope and his business partner, Beth Beck, founded Club Fit. In early 2018 David passed away and Club Fit and our communities suffered a great loss.

In addition to being enthusiastic about creating health clubs that foster a sense of community and providing top notch expertise and facilities, David was passionate about helping everyone have access to educational opportunities. To honor his name and the great work he dedicated his life to here at Club Fit and in our communities, we have created the David Swope Educational Scholarship.

Nathalie currently attends SUNY Cortland and is a Community Health major. At the club, you can find Nathalie in the Aquatic Center working as a Lifeguard over the summer and during school breaks throughout the year. Nathalie works diligently at multiple jobs in support of furthering her education. In addition, she is currently interning at Montefiore Hospital and working towards the last 12 credits to obtain her degree. Nathalie is extremely focused on her education and will be traveling abroad to Barcelona this fall with the Global Experience Internship Program. She will be doing career-related humanitarian work. Nathalie is excited to share her passion with others and is looking forward to the opportunity to work in this capacity.

Nathalie truly embraces David Swope’s true essence and commitment to humanitarian outreach. It’s a pleasure to share this award with her.

Alexa Guevara wins David Swope Scholarship

July 10, 2018 by karen

Congratulations to our Briarcliff inaugural David Swope Educational Scholarship winner, Alexa Guevara!

 

David Swope Scholarship award winner Alexa with her mom, Assistant Communications Coordinator Lori, and her uncle, Briarcliff General Manager Mark.

In 1973 David Swope and his business partner, Beth Beck, founded Club Fit. In early 2018 David passed away and Club Fit and our communities suffered a great loss.

In addition to being enthusiastic about creating health clubs that foster a sense of community and providing top notch expertise and facilities, David was passionate about helping everyone have access to educational opportunities. To honor his name and the great work he dedicated his life to here at Club Fit and in our communities, we have created the David Swope Educational Scholarship.

Alexa is a part of the Energy Center team and recently graduated with honors from Westchester Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Visual Arts. She will be transferring into the SUNY New Paltz Fine Arts program in the fall.

By receiving this scholarship, Alexa believes she will “… be able to put it toward the resources that will help me become the artist I want to be. I truly love what I’m in school for and am working hard to achieve my dream.”

All candidates were asked to describe the Club Fit organizational value that meant the most to them. Alexa described her embracement of the neighborhood and genuine fulfillment from caring for the community in which she lives. She described a scenario of volunteering at the local food pantry and said, “Many times our society chooses to be most eager about the qualities that look the best. To have more and better things than the next person. To me, I like to think that when we want a great neighborhood we have to embrace the more challenging parts and help build them stronger. The food pantry has always been a humbling experience and I am fortunate enough to have been exposed to that at an early age. It’s become a value that will stick with me my entire life.”

Alexa’s educational drive and passion for her community aligns with everything David stood for in our community. Congratulations Alexa!

David Swope

February 22, 2018 by jeanne

The following is contributed by long time Club Fit member and friend of David, Geoff Thompson, along with David’s family. Here is an insightful look at the life of the pivotal figure in our community’s history. 

David Swope of Ossining, a prominent Westchester environmentalist, philanthropist, community leader and business owner, died Wednesday. He was 76.

Among his many roles he served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Westchester Community College in Valhalla, the Teatown Lake Reservation Environmental Education Center in Ossining, and the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. As a co-founder of Club Fit health and fitness centers in Briarcliff Manor and Jefferson Valley, he was a pioneer in the development of full service health and fitness membership clubs. He was also the owner of Tappan Hill in Tarrytown, now Abagail Kirsch catering.

Born in Mount Kisco, NY, September 24, 1941, he was the son of David and Sarah (Sally) Porter Swope. He was the third generation of his family to live in the Ossining area. His grandfather, Gerard Swope Sr., was President of General Electric and owned The Croft, a large equestrian-oriented estate which was donated by the family to form the original part of Teatown Lake Reservation.

David, known as Dee to family and friends, graduated from the Scarborough School in Briarcliff Manor and the Loomis School in Connecticut. He was a graduate of Harvard University and earned a law degree from Columbia University.

In the early 1960s he answered President Kennedy’s call and joined the Peace Corps spending two and a half years in India. This proved to be a life-changing experience and forged his life-long interest and love of India and Indian art and culture. It also inspired him to form a legal aid society in Bombay (Mumbai.) Throughout his life he visited India and maintained an extensive network of Indian friends both at home and abroad.

After returning to the U.S., he worked as an attorney in Manhattan, first with the White & Case, and then the Davis Polk law firms. In the late 1970s his father became ill and David moved back to Ossining to assume his business interests which included the Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley Racquet Clubs and Tappan Hill. With his business partner, Beth Beck, they began adding exercise equipment and other facilities to what had been strictly tennis clubs. Over the ensuing decades they continued to expand and modernize the clubs making then among the first full-service clubs of their kind in the region and both clubs remain highly successful today.

As he entered his 60s, David gradually shifted away from his business interests and devoted his time to working with not-for-profit organizations. Throughout his adult life he played a major role in the evolution and growth of Teatown, and he also supported numerous other environmental organizations and programs including the Westchester Land Trust and the Pace University Environmental Center. He spent many years on the Westchester Community College Board including overseeing the search for a new president to succeed long-time president Dr. Joseph Hankin. The effort culminated in the hiring Dr. Belinda Miles, the current President.

He took an early interest in the creation of and growth of the Jacob Burns Film Center and as board chairman worked to support the major expansion and outreach of its educational programming. He also served on the boards of the Ossining Children’s Center and Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, and offered generous financial support to numerous other groups and organizations.

In addition to living in Westchester, from childhood David loved both short and long stays at his mother’s family’s ancestral cottage at Wauwinet on Nantucket where he welcomed guests and friends from back home as well as Nantucket. He supported land preservation efforts on the island and various non-profit organizations.

David traveled extensively having visited every continent and he had friends across the nation and the globe.

He is survived by his sister, Dorothea (Dorry) Swope, by many cousins and by hundreds of friends. Funeral services will be private. Those interested in making contributions in David’s memory are asked to consider Teatown Lake Reservation, Westchester Community College, the Jacob Burns Film Center or a worthy organization of their choice.