June 6 is Founders Day

On June 6, the YMCA marks its 173rd anniversary. This global organization began with a simple but powerful idea to help people build healthier, happier lives. Today, the YMCA is one of the world’s largest volunteer organizations known for helping people of every background reach their potential.


From its humble beginnings in London, the Y met the practical and spiritual needs of young men flocking to London during the Industrial Revolution. Since then, the Y has grown and changed, meeting the needs of children, families and adult in 10,000 communities in the U.S. and 119 countries around the globe. Along the way, the Y is responsible for a number of innovations that influenced history and are part of our daily lives. Watch this video to see the evolution of the Y nationally.


• Basketball and volleyball were both invented at the Y. • Night school and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes began at the Y. • The world’s first indoor pool was at a Y, and the concept of group swim lessons started at the Y. • The United Service Organizations (USO) was created with help from the Y, and the Peace Corps was patterned after a Y program. • Father’s Day was created at a Y.

Today, our community is a better place thanks to our YMCA. Volunteers and visionary leaders continue to ensure that the YMCA makes the community better tomorrow through programs and services that meet the region's changing needs.

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