|Welcome to the Grand River Area Family YMCA Web site.
Please visit us often to find out what's new. Send e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not long ago, no one felt a Y could succeed in a town of
less than 20,000 people, but Dave Rogers, Grand River's
executive director, and his staff, proved them wrong.
In the late 1980's, an economic development
committee formed by business and civic leaders determined that a YMCA would improve the
quality of life through recreation for kids and seniors. One of those leaders, Ed Douglas,
chairman of Citizens Bank & Trust, helped form a board, went to the national YMCA and
asked them how to accomplish it.
Vickie Hennessey, YMCA USA Field Consultant, supported the development of
the Grand River YMCA and other western Missouri Y's. Mayor Jerry Wilford, Ed Douglas, Dr.
David Neal, and others traveled to Y clusters in Missouri and Kansas to get advice. The
Hedrick Foundation, a local charitable trust, gave a seed donation of half a million
dollars. Five months later, the community had exceeded its goal and raised $3.1 million.
Eight hundred gold-plated bricks in the donor's names now line a wall in the Y's central
The Hedrick Foundation donated a parcel of land atop a hill
and across from a popular park on the north side of town. In 12 months, a beautiful brick structure was ready; and, in the first week, the Y attracted
2,400 members! In terms of membership units, Grand River was Missouri's largest Y by the
end of its first year of operation.
For more information on the Grand River Area Family YMCA,
read the feature article in the spring, 1998, Discovery YMCA, "Apple Pie and the
Y." The YMCA of the USA has a complete listing by state of YMCA's with sites on
the World Wide Web. Check them out!
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our index page.
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