HISTORY OF THE YMCA
The YMCA was founded in London, England in 1844
by George Williams and some friends. Their goal
was to help young men like themselves find God.
The first members were evangelical Protestants
who prayed and studied the Bible as an
alternative to vice.
The first U.S. YMCA was started in Boston in
1851 by Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain
and lay missionary. YMCAs spread rapidly across
America, opening their doors to boys and men of
all ages. Some YMCAs were started to serve
specific groups such as railroad and factory
workers, as well as African Americans, Native
Americans and recent immigrants. After World War
II, women and girls were admitted. Today, half
of all YMCA members are female, and half are
under age 18.
Here in Darke County, the YMCA was founded in
1965. It was originally located at 212 E. Main
Street in Greenville. In 1971, the Greenville
facility located at 301 Wagner Avenue was
opened. Renovations have been made over the
years, including the addition of the Dorothy
Coppock Hole Child Care Center in 1992 and the
GTI Youth Gym in 1994. In 1998, the YMCA of
Darke County opened a facility in Versailles.
Welcome to the YMCA of Darke County! The Y is a
powerful association of men, women and children
joined together by a shared commitment of nurturing
the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and
fostering a sense of social responsibility. We
believe that lasting personal and social change can
only come about when we work together to invest in
our kids, our health and our neighbors. That’s why,
at the Y, strengthening the foundation of our
community is our cause. Every day we work
side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure
everyone, regardless of age, income or background,
has the opportunity to learn, grown and thrive.
At the YMCA of Darke County no one is turned
away due to inability to pay program or
membership fees. The Y maintains a generous
scholarship program for youth, adults and
families who demonstrate financial need.
Special people have special needs and the Y
is a good place for those in need to develop
physically and socially, and learn to lead
healthy lives. Groups such as Wayne Industries,
Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters and
Michael's Home are able to enjoy the YMCA of Darke County every year.
The Child Care Centers in Greenville and
Versailles service nearly 150 children from
Darke County. From as young as six weeks old
through fourth grade, the Y provides full-time
day care in a setting that is safe, secure and
offers children a warm and loving environment in
which to grow. With help from the United Way,
the Y is able to provide families
in need with quality child care that is close to
home. We have part-time care available for
children in the Infant Room through Day Care II.
The Y facilities are used by youth athletics
throughout the county, such as baseball clinics,
and tennis and swim teams. The Y also
welcomes classes, grades and entire schools for
field trips or student rewards. It's a great
treat for the schools and a great way share the
YMCA values with kids.
Healthy Heart Center
Adults who have had a heart attack, surgery or
heart disease and are under a physician's care
are referred to the Y for phases 3 and 4 of
cardiac rehabilitation. Our trained fitness
counselor works one-on-one with patients on
computerized monitored fitness equipment to help
them return to a healthy -- if not healthier --
"At the YMCA, all paths
lead to our core values – caring, honesty,
respect and responsibility. These
values are never compromised, never substituted."
John 17:21 – This
is our Christian creed. The YMCA is for everyone and
John 17:21 states, all of them may be one.