Family YMCA of the Glens Falls Area
Founded in 1887
Glens Falls YMCA was organized in 1887 by a group of men from local churches in response to the need to keep young men busy and out of mischief. Rev. George L. Collyer, & Mr. William McEchron, led a discussion of clergy & laymen from the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, & Episcopal churches & Society of Friends on how to respond. In 1888 the YMCA obtained its charter “for the improvement of the Spiritual, Mental, Social & Physical Condition of Young Men.”
The first building was constructed in 1892, on Glen Street thanks to a $50,000 donation from Jones Ordway. With a gymnasium and meeting rooms, the YMCA established a number of innovative programs, including basketball, football, track & field; choral, bicycle, and camera clubs.
The first YMCA endowment bequest was received from William McEchron in 1906.
With growing participation, a gymnasium, swimming pool, locker rooms and bowling alley were added in 1909. Popular programs included gymnastics, summer camps and free swimming campaigns, which continue today.
The Glens Falls YMCA established the Boys Conservation League & planted thousands of trees in Crandall Park, served as the local representative for the Red Cross, formed the first Boy Scout troop, & organized church baseball and basketball leagues. In 1931, service was extended to girls and women.
In 1969, to meet the needs of its’ growing constituency, the YMCA opened a new facility in Crandall Park with land provided by the Crandall Trust and generous support from its members and community. Racquetball courts were added later. The 1990 campaign for renovations and debt retirement enabled the YMCA to allocate more resources to youth programs.
The most recent expansion plans completed in early 2006 included the Youth & Family Room, Arts & Crafts Room, Group Exercise Room, Babysitting Room, a preschool bathroom, our comprehensive NAMIC wellness center with an indoor track, handicap accessible family locker-rooms, office space, a new member lounge, and renovations to our Youth Fitness Room.
Today the YMCA serves over 20,000 people and is committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.