YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Celebrates 150 Years of Transforming Lives

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (November 29, 2017) – The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and is reflecting on the incredible journey that has led them to become one of West Michigan’s leading non-profits with more than 126,000 members and program participants. To commemorate this milestone, the YMCA hosted a dinner celebration for donors, community partners, members and friends of the Y at 20 Monroe Live with a special guest performance by Jeff Daniels on November 28.

“The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids has had the privilege of serving children, individuals, families and communities in the area for 150 years,” said Scott Lewis, President/CEO of YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. “We have a long history of strengthening the community, and we are looking forward to continuing that tradition for another 150 years. We are grateful to the community, to our supporters, volunteers, staff and our members for so many great years.”

The YMCA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together the community through programs that strengthen the spirit, mind and body, has been responsible for a variety of positive social change in America’s history. The Y is responsible for inventing group sports such as basketball and volleyball, as well as beginning the first night school and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Similarly, the Y provided quality and affordable child care when women began to join the workforce. The Y promotes a healthy lifestyle for all and encourages its members to better their communities.

The first Grand Rapids YMCA was organized by a small group of men in 1866, and by 1892, the first building with a gymnasium, swimming pool, track and library rooms was completed. By 1973, plans had been drawn to construct several other branches in the greater Grand Rapids area. Now, 150 years later, there are seven branches in Grand Rapids and surrounding areas that promote health and well-being.

“For 150 years, the Y has been growing, evolving and responding to the unique needs of our community by offering experiences that enrich families and individuals of all ages in spirit, mind, and body,” said Sean Welsh, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Board Chair. “We are a strong and vibrant Y committed to building relationships and delivering quality programs throughout our community that improve the lives of so many.”

About the Y
The Y is West Michigan’s leading nonprofit strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Through its various branches, including Camp Manitou-Lin, community outreach programs, as well as child care sites, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is committed to improving the health and well-being of children and families. Y programs impact thousands of lives annually and respond to unique community needs across West Michigan. Visit grymca.org.