The Anaheim Family YMCA was established in 1911 by Charles Pearson (who would later go on to become the city’s mayor). The YMCA operated out of a house on Philadelphia Street and began offering Hi-Y clubs in local schools. In 1924, Camp Osceola began the Anaheim Y’s first camping season. The YMCA Indian Guides program got started two years later, providing parents and children the opportunity to share one-on-one experiences.


In 1930, the Anaheim YMCA became incorporated. Through the 40s, the Hi-Y Clubs continued to be very popular among youth. In 1950, the YMCA building on Citron Street was constructed, providing a place for even more young people to share in the YMCA experience. Also in 1950, a new YMCA program called Youth & Government made its mark with local high school students.


In the late 1960s, the shores of Catalina Island became the home of YMCA Camp Fox, a place for teens to continue their camp experience. In 1967, ground-breaking began at the YMCA’s North Street location. A two-phase plan resulted in a magnificent 58,000 sq. ft. facility offering expanded sports activities, aerobics and swimming. The building was officially dedicated in 1972, thanks to a $1.2 million gift from John and Donna Crean. In 1980, the word “family” was added to the YMCA’s name; it would now be officially called the Anaheim Family YMCA.


In 1993, the YMCA opened the Children’s Station through a partnership with the City of Anaheim to offer quality, low-cost childcare. In 1994, YMCA Character Development was adopted nationwide, tying all Y programs to the four pillars of Honesty, Caring, Respect and Responsibility. In 1995, the YMCA sold its North Street facility and expanded programs across Anaheim. In 1998, the YMCA partnered with the City to offer its Youth Sports programs at the Downtown Community Center. In 1999, the Anaheim Achieves after-school program made its debut on 16 school sites, providing a safe place for thousands of students each day.


In 2001, the Anaheim Y kicked off its new Endowment Program to help ensure a strong, viable YMCA for future generations. In 2011, the Anaheim Family YMCA celebrated its 100th anniversary. Today, the Anaheim Family YMCA impacts more than 18,000 people of all ages annually. Our cause is to strengthen community and so much more through a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Our community impact is made possible by a volunteer board of directors, 400 full and part-time staff, and hundreds of volunteers and supporters.

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