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The Pikes Peak YMCA Celebrates 140 Years of Serving the Community

by YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region | May 28, 2019, 09:21 AM

On Thursday, June 6, the YMCA of the Pikes Peak region will celebrate 140 years of making an impact in the Southern Colorado Springs community. President & CEO Boyd Williams shares his contribution to the Pikes Peak Y and talks about the meaning of 140 years of the Y. 

In 1878, volunteers at what was then called the Colorado Springs YMCA worked together on a project to create the first library and reading room before the first public library was open in Colorado Springs. Today, the YMCA serves over 125,000 people each year in a with a variety of programs

“The reason why we have been able to make it 140 years and we will be here 140 years from now is the Y’s ability to stay relevant," says Williams. "We identify with the issues are and then respond to those issues. We aren’t always alone - sometimes playing an intricate part means being a partner or being at the table with others.”

With valuable partnerships like the City of Colorado Springs and Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs, the YMCA helps a variety of members to meet their needs exactly where they are. Working with multiple nonprofits and businesses, Williams believes these partnerships bring “like-minded organizations that have common goals and interests” together to make a significant impact. 

As a cause-driven organization, the YMCA has continued to work together with the community to encourage well-being in spirit, mind, and body. For example, the Y’s Evidence-Based Health Initiatives have changed the lives of members who are taking their healthcare into their own hands, members like Woody. After joining the Parkinson’s Exercise Program a year ago, Woody’s life changed, and he became able to walk on his own again, without the assistance of a cane or walker. Boyd knows that stories like these put the “Why” in the Y and help make differences that are life-changing.  

“Woody was a member who came in and spoke to our board. Woody, because of a debilitating disease, could barely walk and do the things that we probably take for granted. Through a year in this program, his quality of life improved, he did a 180. That’s just one of those evidence-based programs involved in our healthcare initiative," says Williams."There are a lot of people like Woody out there and we are changing their lives every day.” 

Over the past 140 years members, staff, volunteers and partners have created an environment open and safe for all, from the smallest child to the oldest adult. The Y’s atmosphere is a home for new faces and local members of the community alike to gather and strengthen the community. Working together with the Southern Colorado Springs community, the Y has given over $1 million away to help individuals and families gain access to vital programs. From military outreach to youth development to bringing families together through fitness, working to improve lives is an effort that involves many but produces results that last for generations. 

"What is our legacy going to be 150 years from now? What is that new program? How do we serve our community? How do we continue to contribute? As the needs continue to change, so will the YMCA,” says Williams.

Join us on Thursday, June 6 at the Garden of the Gods Club to celebrate 140 years of the YMCA's service and impact. Purchase your tickets today and help us support the community for 140 more.

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