we are your ymca
About your ymca
The YMCA...A place to Belong
The Y is a community-service organization which promotes positive values through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. When you’re a member of the Y, you are part of a non-profit organization with three areas of focus:
Membership in Y health and fitness programs is designed to meet different needs of cardiovascular health, strength training, weight loss, stress reduction and education; while meeting the expectations of the highest quality and value.
History of the YMCA
They YMCA was founded in Industialized London in 1844 by 24 year old George Williams. At that time, the Y served as a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from the hazards of life on the streets.
Years later, retired Boston sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan, working as a marine missionary, noticed a similar need to create a safe “home away from home” for sailors and merchants. Inspired by the stories of the Y in England, he led the formation of the first U.S. YMCA at the Old South Church in Boston on December 29, 1851.
Today, the Y engages more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the U.S. As the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to helping people and communities to learn, grow and thrive, our contributions are both far-reaching and intimate—from influencing our nation’s culture during times of profound social change to the individual support we provide an adult learning to read.
About the Forest City YMCA
Forest City is proud to be one of the smallest communities in the United States to offer a full service YMCA facility. The Forest City Y offers family-oriented fun, Christian values and a state-of-the-art facility that includes a cardio room, racquetball courts, large gymnasium, pool, spa and track. The Forest City Y serves people and families of all ages, income levels, and physical condition; with emphasis on responsibility and self improvement.
The Forest City YMCA opened its doors in February 1987 thanks to the vision and generosity of John K. and Luise Hanson. As a child, John K. Hanson, Winnebago Industries founder, learned to swim at a YMCA facility. This impacted him and as Winnebago grew, he wanted the community he loved to benefit from a facility that everyone could enjoy regardless of income level, age or physical condition. He turned that vision into reality and began the process of establishing a YMCA in Forest City.
John K. and Luise gifted the necessary funds to build the building which houses the Y and Hanson Field House for Waldorf College. The community rallied around their generosity through an effort called “Help us Open the Doors” which raised funds to equip the facility.
Knowing that the YMCA was in a small community, the Hansons’ established an endowment fund to ensure the longevity of the Y in Forest City. This endowment keeps membership rates at affordable levels. An annual support campaign is also conducted to provide financial assistance to those in need.
The Forest City Y is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Bruce Mielke has served as Executive Director since 1996 and oversees the facility, programs and supervises approximately 100 employees.
Learn More about the Forest City Y
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