About the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids

The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids ensures a stronger, healthier community for all with a commitment to nurturing the potential of our youth, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility.

The Y is one of West Michigan’s leading non-profits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. At the Y strengthening community is our cause. We believe that positive, lasting, personal, and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. We are a unique environment where kids learn and grow. We are a neighborhood resource allowing those that need us most access to a healthy and rewarding life. We have a long history of changing lives.

Our Mission: Guided by our Christian principles, we strengthen the spirit, mind and body of all individuals.

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Dedicated to Today’s Youth

At the Y, we don’t just teach swimming lessons or coach soccer. We’re about youth development: ensuring that the children and teens in our programs reach their full potential by helping them grow—physically, mentally and socially—from young children into engaged, active members of their communities.

Focusing on Healthy Living

Being healthy means more than simply being physically active. It’s about maintaining a balanced spirit, mind and body. The Y is a place where you can work toward that balance by challenging yourself to learn a new skill or hobby, fostering connections with friends through our lifelong learning programs, or bringing your loved ones closer together through our many family-centered activities.

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Driving Social Responsibility

The generosity of others is at the core of the Y’s existence as a nonprofit. It is only through the support of our hundreds of thousands of volunteers and public and private donors that we are able to support and give back to the communities we engage.

Give to the Y today!

Our History

YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin celebrated its 100-Year Anniversary.
Spartan Stores YMCA (now SpartanNash YMCA) opened in August.
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Construction began for the Spartan Stores YMCA (now SpartanNash YMCA), a $13 million, 96,000 sq. ft. facility located at 5722 Metro Way, Wyoming.
The $200,000 renovation to the Southeast Branch YMCA locker rooms was completed in September, 2009.
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The $2.1 million, 12,000 sq. ft Phase II expansion of the Wolverine World Wide Family Branch YMCA includes a wellness area, gymnasium, 10 family locker rooms, and an educational classroom/program meeting space.
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The $29.3 million, 159,000 sq. ft. David D. Hunting Branch YMCA, located at 475 Lake Michigan Drive in Grand Rapids opened in July. The $8.4 million, 46,800 sq. ft. Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA located at 6555 Jupiter Avenue in Belmont opened in October.
The Downtown and West Board of Managers merged to form the David D. Hunting Board of Managers. The Fit Zone opened. Continuous Quality Initiative was implemented.
Visser Family YMCA opened Teen Center and Chapel.
New Lowell YMCA Community Wellness and Teen Centers open on January 1, 2001. New Southeast YMCA Teen Center opened June 12, 2001.
Dedicated the “Skip Gates Memorial Chapel” Saturday, June 24, 2000 at Camp Manitou-Lin. Purchased land on the corner of Post Drive and Jupiter Avenue for the purpose of a new North Branch YMCA.
Purchased new Southwest facility, which was dedicated as the “Visser Family YMCA” on May 7, 2000.
Renovations of YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin are completed, highlighted by the dedication of the new Cheff Lodge, two new quad cabins and the Liesveld Pavilion. Downtown, West, and Southeast branches make significant facility improvements to enhance member services.
Metropolitan YMCA begins Capital Campaign for expansions at Southeast, West and Camp Manitou-Lin. South Branch headquarters move from Wyoming to Grandville and is renamed Southwest Branch.
Downtown, West, and Southeast Branches open “Kids Gym” facilities.
Downtown YMCA collaborates with the West Michigan Whitecaps to offer Inner City Baseball Program.
Lowell Branch opens two childcare facilities.
South Branch converts from a facility to a community-based operation. Shelter Plus Care, a special residence program for veterans, is established at the Downtown YMCA.
Generations Child Care Center opens in August in collaboration with Porter Hills Presbyterian Village. Ionia Program Center is recognized as the Ionia Country Branch YMCA. Mid City Adventure Club begins.
Downtown Branch YMCA Capital Campaign to name the new natatorium in honor of Paul G. Goebel, Sr., former mayor of Grand Rapids and President of the YMCA Board of Directors from 1937-1941. Corporate Sports Challenge begins.
Community raised $3.7 million to fund the purchase of 120 acres of land for resident Camp Manitou-Lin, and to fund the Central Branch renovation project. Ionia Program Center established with the cooperation of the Ionia Public School District.
Instructional swimming pool added at South Branch facility. Central Branch added Nautilus Center and family locker rooms.
Community raised $2.5 million to fund the construction of the Southeast Branch, and to add new features to the South Branch, and added racquetball courts, and a finished basement to the West Branch, additional cabins for Camp Manitou-Lin, and a newly renovated Youth Department for the Central Branch.
Central Branch remodeled to expand recreational capacity.
Community raised $736,000 for addition of gymnasium and locker rooms to the West Branch building and to construct the current South Branch.
Organizations of the Lowell Branch with the assistance of the King Memorial Fund. South Branch organized.
Community raised $425,000 for construction of the West Branch building.
Central Branch at 33 Library Street, NE was constructed at a time when the population of Grand Rapids was 112,000. (Total cost was $250,000.)
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Property donated at Barlow Lake by the Liesveld Family. Site became YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin.
Downtown YMCA
A $100,000 building is constructed. It included a gymnasium, swimming pool, track and library rooms. (Now the site of the Federal Square Building),
The first YMCA building is constructed with a few meeting rooms and study areas.
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The Grand Rapids YMCA is organized by a small group of men meeting in the chapel of the First Park Congregational Church.
YMCA was founded in London, England.

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