History of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio



Our Mission

To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Vision 2015

Vision 2015 is a strategic plan with a focus on:

Youth & Families

Strengthen and engage for life

Health & Well-being
Balanced Spirit, Mind & Body

Member Engagement

Create a member-centric culture

Expanding the Y's Reach

Establish a Y presence in all communities

Staff Development
Become the Employer of Choice by 2015

Enhancing Mission Awareness
Reinforce the Y as a cause-driven, mission-based organization


History

•1844 George Williams founded first YMCA in London, England with purpose to create a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from the hazards of life on the streets.
•1876 YMCA of Greater San Antonio founded by volunteers serving cowboys, railroad employees, young men and boys who'd moved from the suburbs into the city to find employment.Without owning our own building, volunteers began providing food, lodging, reading rooms and activities in borrowed facilities around town.
 •1907  Volunteers raised money to build the first facility on North Alamo and Third Street as an outlet for young men to participate in Bible studies, physical activity and educational classes.
 •1918  In World War I, the YMCA brought field services, food, first aid supplies and blankets to soldiers and their families throughout South Texas. By 1918, the YMCA was offering San Antonio’s first swim lessons, organized High School Clubs (Hi-Y), and reached out to African American and Mexican American youth in the community.
 •1927  Camp Flaming Arrow in the Hill Country was purchased, again with funds raised by volunteers. This camp boys “healthful recreation without temptation, the gratification of the natural desire for a free and easy life outdoors, together with the cultivation of a manly Christian character” (Sumner Dudley, 1885).
 •1944  Building of the full facility Davis-Scott Family YMCA.
 •1949  Building of the full facility Westside Family YMCA.
 •1960s The Northwest and Northeast branches were built to offer expanded programs in swimming, team sports, day camps, drug abuse prevention and teen leadership.
 •1971 The Downtown YMCA opened its first location at 903 N. St. Mary’s. Through the 1970s and 80s, YMCA programs were developed to help at-risk youth stay out of trouble and learn new skills.
 •1980s Women could now participate in health and wellness programs at the Downtown branch. The Southwestern Bell branch was opened where early child development, after-school child care and bilingual pre-kindergarten were introduced, leading to the development of campus-based student enrichment programs and youth sports. Texas’ first teen parent child care was developed at the YMCA. 
•2003 With the leadership of the new President/CEO Baron Herdelin-Doherty, the Vision 2010 plan was set in motion. This plan, developed by the Association Board, task forces, local board members and staff, was designed to focus on Membership Development, Program Enhancement, Financial Development, Image Development and Capital Development.
 •2006 The Boerne Family YMCA was the first facility to be built in San Antonio in over 30 years. The doors opened in January 2006. Later that year, the New Braunfels Family YMCA was opened, by remodeling the McKenna Health Club. Also, the roads, pool, cabins, showers and the camp directors' house were renovated at Camp Flaming Arrow.
•2007 The Mays Family YMCA, originally a sports location, opened its new Wellness Center, in January of 2007.
•2008 The new Braundera Family YMCA was opened in O.P. Schnabel Park.  Seven months later, the family outdoor aquatics park, spray park and pool were opened there as well. The Davis-Scott Family YMCA underwent a full renovation and reopened in June 2008.
•2009 The D.R. Semmes Family YMCA was relocated to its new facility, in a first-ever partnership with Trinity Baptist Church in June 2009.   In August, the Westside Family YMCA completed its renovation of the Childwatch, Kidz Club, Wellness Center, multi-purpose room, locker rooms and restrooms.
•2010 The YMCA assumed responsibility of two full-day Preschools (Labor Street and Stablewood) from Positive Beginnings, Inc. The new Schertz Family YMCA opened in March, in a facility built and supported by the city of Schertz. In June, construction began on the Walzem Family YMCA. In July, we provided full-day child care and afterschool programs at Haven for Hope - a private non-profit aimed at transforming the lives of homeless men, women and children in the San Antonio/Bexar County area.
•2011 What an exciting year 2011 was for our Y! We accomplished activities in line with our Vision 2015 strategic plan. Highlights include:
  • The opening and success of our Walzem Family YMCA
  • Transforming our Southcross location into a Y Living Center, to address the biggest threats to our health: obesity, diabetes and cancer, through medically based wellness programs
  • On-boarding our tenth full facility in Thousand Oaks, just in time for the new year
  • Camp Flaming Arrow enjoyed its best summer to date, with enrollment over 1000
•2012 In January, we unveiled a new brand to increase understanding of our impact in the communities we serve. The new brand strategy and framework helps us better communicate our mission, our cause and the positive impact of the Y in our communities. We also adopted a new logo that better reflects the vibrancy of the Y and the diversity of the communities it serves. The brand is much more than just a logo change. We want to be known as a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to strengthening the foundations of our communities.
   

We hope you join us as we continue to evolve and grow into 2012. We can accomplish amazing feats only with community support. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

YMCA Mission

To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs
that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

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