**UPDATED HOURS** Beginning June 4th, 2022 Saturday Hours | 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM and Sunday Hours | 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

BLAIR REGIONAL YMCA

HISTORY

BLAIR REGIONAL YMCA – HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA
SERVING BLAIR, BEDFORD, & HUNTINGDON COUNTIES

ENSURING A BRIGHT FUTURE SINCE 1912

Since 1844, the YMCA has aimed to put Christian principles into practice by empowering individuals to develop a healthy body, mind, and spirit. In the years since the Y’s establishment, chapters have spread throughout the world.

Our own Y, BLAIR REGIONAL YMCA (“BRY”), was organized in 1912 as the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA. Our name was changed to better reflect the primary local region we serve – Blair County, Pennsylvania. From our original building at the corner of Walnut and Penn Streets to our new facility on Hewit Street, the Y has enjoyed a proud history of serving the community.

June 6, 1844

The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded by Sir George Williams in London, England (UK). Along with likeminded friends, Williams organized activities to help combat unhealthy conditions and address the needs of young Londoners by empowering them to improve their lives.

December 29, 1851

The first YMCA opened in the United States with the Boston, Massachusetts chapter founded by American seafarer and missionary, Captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan.

1891

James Dysart invited ministers and laypeople to launch a financial campaign for $26,000.

1911

James Dysart purchased the J. B. Hemphill home located at the corner of Walnut and Penn Streets in Hollidaysburg, PA. The property was donated to house the newly formed Hollidaysburg YMCA.

March 1912

Construction began on the old Hemphill property

December 13, 1912

Original YMCA Building at Walnut and Penn Street dedicated

1913 & 1915

By deeds, Mr. Dysart gave the Hewit Street property (formerly known as Dysart Park) in trust for use by the Y. The property would remain vacant for more than 60 years.

1921-1924

Original structure remodeled and enlarged at a cost of $80,000

November 2, 1933

Women’s Auxiliary holds first meeting

1934

Dorm facilities opened for ladies.

1939

YWCA, organized in 1914, ceased operation and merged with YMCA. YWCA and YMCA women’s groups merged to form one club with main purpose to raise funds for the Y, as well as to stimulate interest in Y programs and provide a friendly fellowship for women of the community.

1941

Served as a “USO” headquarters during WWII

1947

Four bowling alleys were completed.

1954

Physical activities caused the “walls to bulge.”

1967

Y Board and Auxiliary “Follies” hit the headlines.

1973

First “County Fair” is held on Walnut Street – proceeds: $2,800

June 13, 1974

At a special meeting of the Executive Committee, Representative Carolyn Routch of the Hollidaysburg Women’s Club (HWC) challenged the Board to consider a new building. HWC financed a feasibility study which determined that a new Y building would better serve the needs of the Y than renovation of the Penn Street building.

1974

First “Pancake Dinner” held

November 1974

Board felt they could raise $300,000. Walter Campbell proposed a 10,300 sq. ft. building at a cost of $350,000. Roy Brumbaugh appointed General Campaign Chairman with a goal of raising $400,000.

1975

Steering Committee holds 6:30 AM regular breakfast meetings at Howard Johnson’s to keep the new building campaign on track.

October 1975

Board decided to include a pool in the building plan; Cost of new building now estimated at $557,521; goal increased to $600,000

June 1976

Total pledges received $377,884

August 1976

Total pledges received $414,000; Board reconsidered prior decision and decided to put the pool on hold

December 1976

Christmas came early. Bids lower than expected; pledges at $463,000.

February 1977

Pledges reach $505,000

April 1977

Cornerstone and foundation laid at new building

January 8, 1978

Dysart Park facility dedicated under the direction of President Pat Large

February 12, 1978

We made it! Kick-off at new facility

1978

KinderClub Program initiated

1979

Phase II Building Expansion in the works

March 1980

Phase II fund drive commences, chaired by Roy Brumbaugh. Goal: $425,000– Pool, Weight & Activity Rooms

1980

Youth Basketball League started (Co-ed & Elementary)

May 1981

75% of Phase II Goal reached with pledges of $308,000

1982

Bids let for addition

March 28, 1983

With Walter Campbell heading up the building committee, groundbreaking held for pool shell and extra rooms

September 1983

Dorothy Campbell Activity Room, Dr. Neil Delozier Weight Lifting Room, and pool shell completed

April 1984

Phase IIC – Go for Pool Construction

October 28, 1984

Completed facility with pool and new section dedicated

1986

New North American Game Room added

1988

New playground equipment provided by Donald Woomer, Sr., and Linda Despot. Latchkey Program is underway. First Annual Triathlon is held at Canoe Creek State Park.

1989

Outdoor lighted basketball court added; Weight Room expanded

1991

Y Auxiliary sponsors first Chicken Bar-B-Q

1992

Computer age touches the Y in accounting and programming

1993

Y becomes a service provider for the “Latchkey” program in the elementary schools

October 14, 1993

The Hollidaysburg Area YMCA President, Vicki L. Wertz, and Board of Directors held a Heritage Celebration to recognize the people who made the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA Dysart Park facility a reality and celebrate 15 years of steady growth in membership and programming.

November 2, 1993

Women’s Auxiliary to the Hollidaysburg YMCA celebrates 60th Anniversary

1994

$100,000 Repair Project on Pool, Locker Rooms and Heating System addresses major capital issues

1995

Old Dysart Park Tennis Courts converted to Roller Hockey Rink

1996

YMCA opens Children Center in Old Frankstown Elementary School Building

1996

Harrison & Margaret Snyder Pavilion erected on playground

1998

Youth Job Service Program recognized with Department of Health Award

1999

Handicap Accessible Locker Room constructed on Pool Deck

2000

Lynnette Williams Court Renovation Project repaves outdoor basketball and hockey courts, new basketball hoop supports, player benches and scoreboards.

2001

Y Heritage Club for Endowment Fund created with 22 charter members

2002

Strategic Planning process identifies facilities as Critical Issue

2003

Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 70 years of service to the YMCA

2004

Expansion Project organized and first gift received

2007

Launched Community Wellness Challenge Series

2008

Phase I Expansion Project Dedicated

2009

Computer System upgraded to local network with server, work stations and new Trinexum and Quick Books Professional software to better manage the Y’s first $2,000,000 budget.

2009

Extended parking lot with the addition of 120 gravel surface spaces

2010

Membership for All Policy initiated to better honor Y Pledge of not denying access or participation due to financial limitations.

2011

The use of Social Media established as Y Facebook achieves first 1,000 friends

2012

Program for All Policy launched to compliment Membership for All and to assist families with financial constraints

2012

Discussions of Phase II begin at Board level