One of the greatest strengths of the YMCA of Western Stark County, and the reason we've be serving our community since 1919, has been our ability to adapt to community needs. The following is a timeline of important events in our local history:
YPCA (Young Peoples Christian Association) was formed
YPCA dissolved and the YMCA was incorporated. It was originally housed in a suite of rooms over the Peoples Building and Loan Company
Started a capital campaign to build a YMCA
February 22, 1925: The new YMCA was dedicated.
- Fredrich J Griffiths- Campaign Chairman
- E H Nelson- Building Community Chairman
- C O Finefrock- Board President, raised $300,000 in just 10 months to build
- James Meinhart Contracting Company was the general contractor for the construction
- 4507 contributions were made for the construction of the new YMCA
January 30, 1945: YMCA burns mortgage. The association was free of debt for the first time in history. Total membership 600 men and 513 boys
August-started capital campaign to remodel and add on to YMCA
February 2, 1955: Dedication of new addition. The guest speaker was Harry Stuhldreher, a member of Notre Dame’s Four Horsemen and Massillon High School graduate
$360,000 was raised to add all-purpose room, adult members’ lounge, new women’s restrooms, modernize the gym and pool, repaint and redecorate all conference and meeting rooms, and add 2 racquetball courts
December 10, 1968: committee was formed to study the possibility of the YMCA/YWCA sharing the YMCA under joint occupancy
Started the capital campaign to add the new pool and turn the old pool area into two additional racquetball courts. Total project cost $1,200,000.
October 14, 1984: Jody K Robinson Memorial Fitness Center is dedicated featuring new fitness equipment.
YMCA stops taking residents
YMCA and YWCA split
New cardio room built, thanks to major funding by the Austin Bailey Foundation
Construction begins to add renovate and update the Jody K Robinson memorial fitness center
Renovation of the JKR Fitness Center is completed and opens featuring new Nautilus equipment.
- The YMCA of Massillon officially becomes the YMCA of Western Stark County
- Four foundations contribute $160,000 and renovations are made to the pool and locker rooms.
- Meetings begin with the Village of Navarre to consider building another branch.
- The Massillon Family YMCA undergoes a major electrical upgrade
- All outdated federated breaker boxes are replaced along with some lighting
- A new youth fitness center is created thanks to a grant from the Sisters of Charity Foundation
- A climbing wall is added to the All Purpose Room
- Grant writing for a new branch to be located in Navarre is begun, including a federal grant request
In a continuing effort to update the Massillon branch and become more energy efficient, the YMCA starts replacing windows. Flooring is also replaced and updated.
- The replacement of windows at the Massillon branch continues
- A family changing room is added to the Massillon facility
- The capital campaign to build the Towpath Trail YMCA in Navarre begins
- The Towpath Trail YMCA opens - the first new branch since 1925
- A collaboration with Tuslaw Local Schools opens the Tuslaw Express YMCA at Tuslaw High School
- Repairs are made to the Massillon Family YMCA including the roof, a renovation of the men's showers and drying area in the locker room, replacement of cardio and weight room floors, and a renovation of the lobby and offices
- The Massillon Family YMCA replaces all cardio equipment with brand new
- One of the three remaining racquetball courts at the Massillon Family YMCA is renovated and converted into a dance studio
All emergency lighting and emergency exit signs are replaced at the Massillon Family YMCA
- Renovations and updates continue at the Massillon Family YMCA including the renovation of the welcome center, replacement of lights in the all purpose room and gymnasium with energy efficient lighting, resurfacing of both parking lots, updates to the group exercise room, renovation of the men's locker room, and replacement of the boiler tubes
- Branches of the Massillon Public Library and Affinity Medical Center are added at the Towpath Trail YMCA
- The Towpath Trail YMCA adds a state licensed child care program
- Y Arts Week, November 3-9, is the first for the YMCA of Western Stark County and is made official by proclamation of the Mayor of the City of Massillon. The weeks events included collaborations with the Massillon Museum, Massillon Public Library, and the Ananda Center. An essay contest is held for students in the Massillon, Tuslaw, and Fairless school districts with the chance for a 1-year membership. The YMCA of Western Stark County receives recognition from the YMCA of the USA and the Gibson Foundation and is awarded $2000 for arts at the Y.
- Preschool program is brought back to the Massillon Family YMCA after government budget cuts for preschool cause several preschools to close and many parents with nowhere to turn for early childhood education without financial assistance.
- In April, the first Massillon Tiger Trot 5k has 220 runners to raise money for the Strong Kids Campaign to provide financial assistance for people in the community who need the services provided by the YMCA but cannot afford them. Features include the Massillon Tiger Swing Band, the Massillon Tiger Kaleidoscope, and is part of the Subway Challenge Series.
- The Massillon Family YMCA renovates the women's locker room, replaces the spring floor in the all-purpose room, and adds 5 new indoor cycling bikes
- The YMCA offers youth programs for just $5 with a family membership.
- Y-USA introduces a brand revitalization plan that includes 5 new logos and color schemes.
- The 2nd Annual Massillon Tiger Trot has 230 runners to raise money for the Strong Kids Campaign.
- The Towpath Trail YMCA replaces 6 treadmills with brand new ones, including two with steep incline capabilities and paints the fitness center and group exercise rooms for the first time since opening.
- The Massillon Family YMCA replaces the front wall of the North racquetball court and refinishes its gym floor.
The 3rd Annual Massillon Tiger Trot has 230 runners to raise money for the Strong Kids Campaign.