Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has access to Y programs that make people healthy, confident and connected.
1850’s YMCA pioneers the first organized childcare programs for underprivileged children.
1854 Rochester YMCA founded; 50 young men enrolled as charter members
1861 New York YMCA Army Committee forms to aid soldiers in the Civil War.
1869 YMCA “Boys Work” established in Massachusetts – the YMCA ‘s first entrance into youth work.
1878 Although women are not allowed to become members, a Women’s Auxiliary is formed in Rochester.
1880 First “Railroad Y” is established on State Street.
1890 The South Avenue YMCA – the first YMCA building in Rochester – opens, boasting a gymnasium, swimming pool, locker rooms, and meeting rooms.
1891 YMCA invents the game of basketball at Springfield College, a YMCA training school.
1892 Summer camping is established, with 12 boys and two leaders camping in tents on Sodus Bay.
1895 YMCA instructor William Morgan invents the game of volleyball.
1910 YMCA sponsored and organized the Boy Scout movement in Rochester.
1915 George Eastman pledges $250,000 to a new YMCA fund drive to build a central YMCA operation and satellite branches, provided the city would raise an additional $500,000 in order to finance the projects. Volunteers organize and surpass the goal in nine days!
1916 Central Y and Maplewood Y are completed and dedicated. 1917 YMCA pledges it support to World War I relief – provides recreation and religious services to improve soldiers’ welfare.
1920 Camp Cory opens on the shores of Keuka Lake as a resident camp for boys.
1922 A special building fund drive raises $450,000 in nine days, enabling the construction of the Monroe and Arnett Branches.
1932 First scholarship campaign conducted, allowing those affected by the depression to participate in Y programs without having to pay fees.
1936 Youth in Government Program is developed by the YMCA, seeking “to determine ways and means by which our Christian philosophy may be effective in civil life.”
1940 United States Organizations (USO) is formed by the YMCA and five other national service organizations.
1950 Racquetball is invented by the YMCA.
1960 Camp Arrowhead day camp facility is established. 1961 YMCA Camp Gorham opens in the Adirondacks, thanks to a generous donation from the Gorham Family. 1960s Women and families are welcomed to the YMCA with expanded programs and services.
1967 YMCA creates and trademarks logo with red triangle.
1969 YMCA youth soccer leagues developed.
1972 To address suburban growth, the YMCA opens three suburban YMCA facilities – Bay View, Northwest, and Southeast.
1982 The Chester F. Carlson MetroCenter YMCA opens in the heart of Downtown Rochester, replacing the Central Branch. The project is made possible thanks to a $2.5 million gift from the Carlson Family.
1982 School Age Child Care program is established, addressing the needs of working parents.
1997 YMCA introduces enhanced Family Enrichment programs like Kids Gym and Family Prime Time.
1998 YMCA opens two new facilities – the Southwest Active Family Center and Victor Active Family Center.
2001 YMCA opens the Lewis Street Child Care Center, addressing the child care needs of hundreds of inner-city families.
2001 YMCA purchases land on North Greece Road to establish YMCA Camp Northpoint Day Camp and Family Center to serve the needs of children and families in Greece and surrounding communities.
2002 YMCA purchases land on Route 250 in the Town of Penfield for future development of the Eastside Family YMCA.
2003 YMCA breaks ground to build a new, state-of-the-art facility – the Westside YMCA – the first new branch in more than 20 years.
2004 Bay View Splash Park opens Discovery Lodge at Camp Arrowhead completed Capital Campaign for Camping completed — over $5.7 million raised for camps Grand opening of Camp Northpoint Partnership with SilverSneakers® Program
2006 Eastside Branch opens. Invest in Youth Campaign (IIY) reaches $1 million mark. Northwest Branch expansion completed. The Y becomes the largest child care provider in Monroe County. 2007 Collaboration with the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and the Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School
2008 Named #4 Best Employer for Workers Over 50 by the AARP 8,800 sq. ft. expansion completed at Westside 2009 Bay View Aquatics Pool Complex opens 2010 Y Diabetes Prevention Program launched Y-USA governance changes and brand revitalization with updated logo and identity for the Y Recognized by The Non-Profit Times as the #15 Best Place to Work
STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES CAMPAIGN A decade-long philanthropic effort to raise $75 million. Starting with the Maplewood Renovation in 2010 and culminating with the Regional Campus for Healthy Living and Camp Cory Masterplan, this campaign is about impact investing from the community philanthropists and organizations to enable the Y to increase the capacity of our social economy for years to come.
2011 Triangle Society launched, ushering in an increased philanthropic focus. Maplewood Branch’s revitalization and reopening with new United Way and Lifespan senior center. 10th anniversary of the Y Love-15 urban youth tennis program. 50th anniversary of Camp Gorham; 90th anniversary of Camp Cory.
2012 Y surpasses its goal for IIY Campaign to raise $2 million! Jurij and Marie Kushner make largest estate gift to date and open 2 community gardens. Eastside Child Care Center opens at the Fairport Baptist Homes. Collaboration with Bivona Child Advocacy Center to create the Darkness to Light training to address the epidemic of child sexual abuse.
2013 Honored by the White House as a Champion of Change. Board Chair Mary-Beth A. Cooper named 13th president of Springfield College. Management agreement initiated with Corning Community Y. Land purchased for relocation of the Southeast Branch. 2014 MVP Health Care Living Well Center opens at Westside Branch, in partnership with the United Way, Lifespan, and the Y. Approval received from Penfield Planning Board for addition to the Eastside Branch and inclusion of a wellness partner, UR Medicine. Collaboration with city schools for extended day programs and expansion of universal pre-Kindergarten full-day program.
University of Rochester Partnership A first of its kind partnership in the Northeast, the YMCA and UR Medicine partnership allows both organizations to share resources and leverage unique assets, resulting in new services and offerings for the entire community with an emphasis on a convenient, high-quality continuum of care.
Maplewood Centennial Throughout its 100 year history, the Maplewood Family Branch has continued to change and adapt to meet the needs of the neighborhood and the community. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow the Y has been part of the bedrock that the community has been built and transformed on.
Youth in overnight
and day camps each
Local members and
given to kids and
Lives impacted by
YMCA LIVESTRONG and
As a dedicated association of staff, volunteers, donors, partners and allies, the Y is steadfast in its mission to build healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities throughout the greater Rochester area.
Harris Beach PLLC
Bond Financial Network
Brown and Brown of New York, Inc.
Armbruster Capital Management, Inc.
Rochester Regional Health Foundations
Suburban Disposal Corp.
Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
O’Connell Electric Company
Riedman Development Corporation
QCI Asset Management, Inc.
University of Rochester Medical Center
Alesco Advisors LLC
Canandaigua National Bank & Trust
Wegman Companies, Inc.
Underberg & Kessler LPP
Bay View Family Branch
Eastside Family Branch
Urban District Executive
Carlson MetroCenter Branch
Corning Community Branch
Schottland Family Branch
Maplewood Family Branch
Northwest Family Branch
Westside Family Branch