CELEBRATING 135 YEARS
The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas is celebrating its 135th Anniversary on Monday, November 23rd, 2020! The Dallas Y was formed on Nov 23rd, 1885 making it one of the oldest and most celebrated organizations in the Dallas/North Texas community. It began with 24 charter memberships and a $4,000 annual budget! The first facility opened on Commerce Street in downtown Dallas.
The new Y provided members and the community with a reading room, a small gym, bathrooms and a lecture room. Bathrooms in those days were not plentiful and one of the great services the Y provided was baths to people willing to pay for them. It makes you wonder if the Y provided financial assistance to those that really needed a bath but couldn’t afford one!
The needs of Dallas were different in 1885 than they are in 2020 but the beauty of the Y is in its ability to adapt to meet changing needs. Looking back over our history and seeing how the Y responded to two World Wars, a flu pandemic in the early 1900s, and the needs families had for childcare in the early 80’s gives me great confidence we will weather the pandemic we are in and come out stronger when this is over.
I’m excited about the Dallas Ys future with our strategic plan “Building Stronger Communities for All” and our Comprehensive Campaign “Bold Vision. Brighter Future”. Both initiatives will be defining moments in our history and I’m grateful to have the support of staff, Board volunteers, donors, members, program participants, community and corporate leaders, and elected officials working together for our next 135 years.
For its work through the years, the Dallas Y received a proclamation from the City of Dallas from Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson acknowledging YMCA Appreciation Day on Nov 23rd.
Both Mayor Johnson and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins along with Board Chair Jill Magnuson and I have prepared a short video to celebrate this milestone.
I hope that everyone can celebrate with friends and family this Thanksgiving whether in-person or virtually. Looking back, this year has been very challenging, but we are all looking ahead with hope to what 2021 will bring to us all.
To learn more about the Dallas YMCA, CLICK HERE.