Mansfield YMCA Celebrates 150 Years With Updates

  • 2/10/2017 12:45:23 PM
  • Kaylie Spotts
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - The Mansfield YMCA is kicking off their year-long celebration of 150 years of operations here in Mansfield, Ohio.

The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London, England on June 6, 1844 in response to unhealthy social conditions arising in the big cities at the end of the Industrial Revolution. The YMCA arrived in Mansfield on December 30th, 1867. It all started with a meeting at Central Baptist Church where a group of citizens who wanted to improve the spiritual, intellectual, and social conditions of young men.

In the early days of the Mansfield YMCA, it was a struggle to find a place to hold meetings. However, it is thought that the first official meetings were held in the building at 36 North Main Street where the Mansfield Building and Loan was located. In 1892, the association moved to a property at 45 Park Avenue West which they bought for $8,500. The YMCA remained at the location until 1945 when a natural gas line erupted causing an explosion.

In 1954, the YMCA moved to its second permanent location at 455 Park Avenue West. The YWCA, a sister organization of the YMCA geared for women, also set up operations at that location. In 1997 the two organizations officially merged, and in 1998 fundraising efforts began to move the YMCA to its current location at 750 Scholl Road. The doors for the current facility opened on December 18, 2000.

It has been 17 years since the grand opening, and the facility has many improvements on the way. The gymnasium has not been refinished since the opening, and the floor's many cracks are a symptom of its use. YMCA Vice President of Operations, James Twedt, says "We hold a lot of events inside the gymnasium; we hold Livestrong graduation, we have Healthy Kid's Day and other events in there. The child care uses it. The acoustics are not the greatest in there, so were hoping to update the acoustics so you can actually hear when people are in there."

As for what Twedt is looking forward to in the upcoming year for the YMCA, the association is continuing to raise funds for its Livestrong program, a program dedicated to helping cancer survivors get back on the road to health. Additionally, they are holding a YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. TheYMCA Diabetes Prevention Program is a year-long program that takes people who are prediabetic and helps them change their lifestyles in an effort to prevent type-2 diabetes.

For a full list of what the YMCA is doing to celebrate its 150th year or operation, visit https://www.mansfieldy.org/about/150-years

 

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