The YMCA of Metro North today announced its plans for a year-long celebration to mark the sesquicentennial of the Greater Lynn YMCA leading to the opening of its new 70,000 square foot facility on Neptune Boulevard later this year. The 150th anniversary kick-off begins on February 14 with the launch of the new Lynn YMCA Expansion Campaign. The campaign seeks to raise $150,000 in donations from supporters to help build the new YMCA facility. Residents and local businesses can support the Lynn YMCA through special programs, events, volunteer days, and fundraising activities throughout 2020.
“The Y has played a vital role in the history of Lynn since we began serving its residents in mind, body, and spirit 150 years ago,” said Andrea Baez, Senior Executive Director, Lynn YMCA. “As Lynn grows and develops, we are starting to write the next chapter in our story. The new YMCA campus will help to ensure that there are enough health and wellness services for our youth, our seniors, our families, and all of the new people we will welcome to our community. This way, we ensure that everyone can have access and participate in all the Y has to offer.”
Since its founding in 1870, the Lynn YMCA has evolved into one of the largest private community service organizations in the area. It offers child care and youth development programs, services for seniors, programs for residents, and healthy living activities for its members and the larger community. Originally located at 85 Market Street, the Lynn YMCA opened its current facility on Neptune Boulevard in 1972 and now has secured a large portion of the financing to build a new facility adjacent to its current location. The $30 million expansion includes new early learning classrooms, an area designated as a clinic, a healthy café and teaching kitchen as well a natatorium with a lap pool, teaching pool and indoor splash pad, an entire floor dedicated to health and wellness, and gathering spaces for the community. The current building will be repurposed and become an expanded youth development center. This expansion will enable the YMCA to more than double the number of children, youth, and teens it serves.
“Our goal has always been to serve the greatest number of people possible, regardless of their background, life circumstances, or their ability to pay,” said Kathleen Walsh, President and Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Metro North. “Together, with our partners and the people in the Greater Lynn region, we have the ability to change people’s lives in so many ways. This new facility is an investment in more than a building. It’s an investment in a better future, full of possibilities for our diverse and dynamic community.”
Donations to the Lynn YMCA expansion campaign will be used as part of the capital funding for the building. Donors will enjoy access to the Lynn YMCA’s and receive invitations to special events and tours in advance of the general public. In addition, donors will be recognized through a digital plaque which will be featured in the new building upon opening.
“A new YMCA will help transform this community,” said Tom Demakes, CEO, Old Neighborhood Foods and Lynn YMCA Capital Campaign contributor. “The impact of this new facility will be felt on generations of families, and will give our kids even more places where they are safe and are provided with opportunities to succeed.”
The History of the YMCA of Metro North Association
The Greater Lynn Y and the Melrose Y were two of the oldest YMCAs in the country. The Greater Lynn Y was founded in 1870. Early records show that in 1873 the YMCA of Lynn served 392 children, organizing Bible studies and running games to help build young minds and bodies.
Since then, the Greater Lynn Y, through its branch operations in downtown Lynn, Peabody, and Saugus, has continued to evolve into one of the largest private community service organization in the Greater Lynn area. The Lynn Branch operated for many years at 85 Market Street. In 1972 the spacious new facility opened on Neptune Boulevard where it stands today.
Until 2006 Peabody’s Lynnfield Street facility housed childcare and outdoor center. Renamed The Torigian Family YMCA for the late Mayor and Chairman of the Capital campaign, the state of the art and full service facility is a favorite of the Peabody and Lynnfield communities.
Central Street in Saugus was the site of the small Saugus Y Child Care Center until 1980 a new facility on the site of the YMCA Outdoor Pool Center on Main Street opened.
The Melrose YMCA was organized on December 10, 1890. The association grew fast and a need developed for a permanent structure for the association. The architect H.H Richardson designed a building for 497 Main Street which became the anchor for Melrose at the turn of the century. During the 1950’s the Melrose Y was famous as the home of one of the largest Tri-Hi-Y programs in the country. This program involved high school girls in service clubs and raised thousands of dollars for YMCA World Service.
The Greater Lynn Y and the Melrose Y continued to prosper and expand their services to the communities they served. These two YMCAs began collaborating to share resources and increase their ability to offer programs that encourage youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. By October 2011, the Board of Directors for the Greater Lynn Y and Melrose Y voted to merge the two YMCAs creating the YMCA of Metro North on January 1, 2012.
Today the YMCA of Metro North continues to be cornerstone in the communities of Lynn, Melrose, Peabody, Lynnfield, Saugus and Stoneham. The organization serves more than 60,000 people each year. Its goal is to improve the quality of life of its members, families, communities, and staff by providing a healthy atmosphere for the development of mental, spiritual, and physical potential. The YMCA of Metro North provides scholarships for those struggling financially who would otherwise not be able to participate in our programs and services.