2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the Anaheim Family YMCA. Started in 1911, we have built our heritage over the years by addressing prevalent needs of the time, including support for working parents; launching safe places after school in the midst of rising gang activity; giving youth opportunities to lead and give back to their community; and getting people of all ages focused on healthy living.
We are an association of life-changing moments, engaging more than 14,500 members, donors, volunteers and partners. Together, we continue to nurture the potential of every youth and teen, improve our community’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to support our neighbors.
1911 – 1940s
The Anaheim Family YMCA was established in 1911 by Charles Pearson. The YMCA’s Hi-Y clubs were very popular in local schools. Camp Osceola began the Y’s first camping season in 1924. The YMCA Indian Guides program was started in 1926, 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 and Girls Reserves continued to be very popular among youth.
1950s – 1970s
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.
1980s – 1990s
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 child care. 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. Today, Anaheim Achieves serves 4,800 students in 46 local schools. In 2001, the Anaheim Y kicked off its new Endowment Program to help ensure a strong, viable YMCA for future generations.
2000 – Today
Today, many of the Y’s early programs are still going strong. In recent years, the Anaheim YMCA has focused on expanding its programs, particularly in the areas of health and fitness, youth development and after-school care. The Anaheim Family YMCA impacts 10,000 youth annually, plus thousands more volunteers, supporters and residents. Through a volunteer board of directors, 390 full- and part-time staff, and hundreds more volunteers, the Anaheim Family YMCA remains committed to offering mission-driven programs and financial assistance to everyone, regardless of age, faith, gender, ethnicity, income or background.
In 2010, the Y unveiled a new brand strategy nationwide. Complete with a new, forward-looking logo, the Y represents the diversity and vibrancy of its work in three areas: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.
2011 marks the Anaheim Family YMCA’s 100th anniversary. With a nod to our past and everyone who has been part of our heritage, we continue to do what we’ve always done—address the prevalent needs of our time and remain focused on the future. This will ensure a second century just as bright as our first.
Download 2011 Annual Report
Celebrating 100 Years in Anaheim