Bucyrus Area YMCA

Y History

History of Crawford County YMCA

The Bucyrus Young Men’s Christian Association was organized after several meetings were held in the early months of 1903. Temporary officers were appointed in May of 1903. On September 4, 1903 permanent officers were elected and the Bucyrus YMCA association began. On August 12, 1903 the association was incorporated with the State of Ohio under the name: “The Young Men’s Christian Association of Bucyrus , Ohio ”, with its state purpose being “the improvement of the spiritual, moral, mental, social, and physical conditions of the young men of the city of Bucyrus and vicinity”.

The Bucyrus Area YMCA opened in a house donated by Susan B. Kearsley. In March of 1904 a financial campaign for $12,000 was begun for the purpose of remodeling the building to include an extension for a small gymnasium on the south side and a room for two bowling alleys on the east side. In May of 1910 another financial campaign began with a goal of raising $15,000 which was used to extend the gymnasium to the alley on the south, add sixteen dormitory rooms on the second floor over the gym, and add two more bowling alleys to the east. The Directors moved into the building very proud of the newly arranged home for youth.

In 1912 the first of several fires occurred at the YMCA; others followed in 1916 and 1920. The causes of these fires were never determined. A serious fire broke out in 1927 at the rear of the building, resulting in an $8,000 loss to the property which was partially covered by insurance.

In November of 1929 a successful financial campaign raised $16,000 which allowed a 20 x 60 ft. swimming pool to be constructed in the room east of the building to replace the bowling alleys.

On February 28, 1941 , another serious fire broke out on the second floor that caused considerable damage throughout the building. An investigation after this fire disclosed a faulty chimney as the cause of this fire and earlier fires.

The following month, Mr. John Q. Shunk made a generous donation of $22,000, which was pooled with the insurance funds, and a new building was immediately in the works. The building consisted of rooms for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and for the Boys’ Club meetings, an auditorium, a dining room and kitchen, a gymnasium with maple floor, a shower room with lockers, an exercise room, and a fire-proof boiler room. The public was invited to tour the new building, and over 3000 people passed through the beautiful new building.

In April of 1947 the Board of Directors, with foresight and a look to the future needs of the YMCA, started an Endowment Fund. In 1951, Cline W. Warnock gave $13,100 as the first major endowment gift. It was hoped that this fund would continue to grow and that the income from it would be a great help to the YMCA in times of emergency and need in the years ahead. Gifts from persons who have the YMCA at heart and who wish to perpetuate their interest in the Y after they are gone are still greatly appreciated.

In 1960 planning for a new building began, and in 1974 a site was selected for a new YMCA facility on land donated by Ohio Mutual and H. Schieber. A capital funds drive with a goal of $1,600,000 was organized and led by co-chairmen Miss Helen Picking and Mr. Robert Hubble. In 1976 the Board of Directors approved plans for the new building, which is still in use today on our Southern Avenue site. On December 17, 1977 , a Grand Opening was held for the new YMCA facility.

In 1996 a new capital campaign began with a lead gift from Timken for $500,000. The campaign raised enough funds to update certain areas of the facility and to enhance the building with a new wing which included a second gymnasium, a new fitness center, and a new preschool room. The $1,590,000 addition was completed and put into use in April of 2001.

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