The Lake County YMCA will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2016 as a diverse organization changing the lives of men, women and children through a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.
Beginning in 1866 in the basement of the First Baptist Church in downtown Painesville, the YMCA was formed as a men’s Christian service organization to unify the mind, body and spirit. The YMCA of Painesville was officially incorporated a year later. As one of the earliest YMCA’s to offer programs for women (in 1914), the Painesville Y and the County Y merged in 1922 unifying the Lake County YMCA and its mission to strengthening our community. Then in 1954, the Y was able to expand and establish a branch in Madison to serve the eastern communities and similarly host classes in the Willoughby Armory to serve western Lake County.
Today the Y currently serves 1 in 5 children, adults and seniors in the county and is recognized as the second oldest Y in continuous operation in the State of Ohio.
To commemorate its anniversary (officially on December 29, 2016) the Y has planned numerous events and activities for its members and the community that will highlight its 150 years of delivering personal and social change.
Starting in January, each 150th new YMCA joiner will receive one free month and one free program. A membership at the Y fits any lifestyle. Whether you are seeking a place to connect with new people, workout 7 days a week or just swim with the family, the Y helps you to be more confident and connected. Kids want to discover who they are and what they can achieve through youth sports programs, school days off camp and summer camp. Additionally, families with young children can take advantage of Y Child Watch during adult workouts or fitness classes. The new member program will continue throughout 2016, meaning that the 150th, 300th, 45th, etc new joiner will get one free month and one free program.
On Saturday, June 18, the community is welcome to join the Y at Painesville Rec Park for a fun, family fishing adventure. Families are invited to bring their fishing gear (limited equipment will be provided by the Y) for a friendly competition. Families can engage in quality time together, children can learn to fish and share with others. Awards will be given including recognition for the first catch and biggest fish caught by a child.
The Y will also bring families together for an evening of excitement at the Lake County Captains Stadium on Saturday, August 6. In addition to special ticket prices, children, adults and seniors can enjoy a welcoming parade around the warming track and fireworks. Activities for children and meal tickets will also be available.
On Saturday, October 15, the Y will bring the community together for a Clam Bake at the Outdoor Family Center in Perry. Adults and families can participate in festive fall activities from hayrides to children’s crafts. Pre-registration will be required. Final details to be announced.
Molly Hill and Wendy Mangino, co-chairs for the Lake County YMCA 150th Anniversary Committee, are directing a distinguished group of community leaders – all whom have been personally impacted by programs at the Y. The committee will be the guiding force behind all planned community activities with support from the Y’s dedicated volunteers to ensuring every one has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.
“Each of us has a special connection with the YMCA, some more than 37 years and each has served as past Y board members or WRJSL members. We are honored to share with the community the Lake County Y’s rich history and longstanding dedication to nurturing children, improving the health and well being of every one, and strengthening community relationships,” said Molly Hill, YMCA 150th Anniversary committee co-chair.
Final details for planned community anniversary events and registration costs will be announced in advance of event dates. For more information visit www.lakecountyymca.org.