The YMCA of Western Monmouth County’s roots began in 1894 in the Borough of Freehold. After over 120 years, we are still a cause driven organization, committed to strengthening our local communities in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y provides a wide array of programs and services to children, families and adults in Monmouth, Middlesex and Mercer Counties.

Here’s a glance at our rich history, and a snapshot of our many successes over the last 120 years on behalf of the individuals and communities we are privileged to serve.


Our YMCA Timeline


  • The Freehold Area YMCA is organized in Freehold on May 18, 1894.
  • Dr. Hepburn assisted in developing the Y.


  • The State Association certified the Freehold YMCA.


  • Y office was over the Post Office.


  • Y purchased 12 Throckmorton Street.


  • Gym was added to above property.


  • Volunteers operated the Y.


  • Land was purchased in Freehold Township for Day Camp and named for Dr. Hepburn.


  • An outdoor pool and lodge (Dittmar Lodge) were built at Camp Hepburn.


  • John (Toni) Borton appointed Executive Director.


  • Y purchased Woodhaven Swim Club.
  • The Throckmorton Street facility was sold in 1968.


  • Two tennis courts added.


  • Indoor pool, named the Dittmar Pool, and Fitness Center added.


  • Racquetball facility added.


  • After School Care Program began.


  • A Nautilus Exercise Center was added.


  • Cobb Pool built and named for Leigh Cobb.
  • Camp Hepburn sold. Began running camp at the East Freehold facility.


  • Gymnasium built and named for Joseph W. Taylor.
  • Women’s Fitness Center added. Free weight room added.


  • Y instituted the Endowment Fund Program.


  • Monmouth Inc. (a cooperative effort between Freehold YMCA, Community YMCA, and Shore YMCA) was formed to help the struggling Shore YMCA.


  • Freehold YMCA changed name to YMCA of Western Monmouth County.


  • Y purchased Happy Time Day Camp. Added Bodymasters equipment to free weight room.


  • Krystal Canady appointed as President/CEO.
  • Shore Area YMCA closed its doors and through our subsequent partnership with the  Community YMCA in Red Bank, we acquired joint ownership of Camp Zehnder, a 100-acre camp in Wall Township.


  • Cybex Center equipment added/replaced Nataulis.


  • Acquired Hightstown-East Windsor YMCA.


  • Cynthia Joy appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.


  • Camp Zehnder YMCA opened its doors for Summer Camp under the management of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County for two years alternating with Community YMCA.


  • Camp Topanemus moved its operations out to Camp full-time.
  • Purchased the property adjacent to the YMCA in Freehold known as the “Bukowy Property”.


  • In partnership with Freehold Borough, opened Freehold Borough YMCA Community Center consisting of a 6,000 square foot space previously known as the “Rug Mill” for Teens and Seniors.
  • Approved $300,000 renovation to Camp Topanemus consisting of a Splash Park and pool upgrades.


  • Changed By-Laws to reflect one Board of Directors.


  • Celebrated 100 years of service to the community with the YMCA of USA’s National Executive Director.
  • Ken Gladish spoke at Y Annual Meeting at the Freehold Boro Y.
  • Board approved a $5.6 million dollar four-phase capital improvement project borrowing $5.2 million from Wachovia Bank.


  • Moved the Administration Offices to the house located at 464 East Freehold, the “Bukowy Property”, in preparation of the upcoming construction.
  • Raised $830,000 towards the Freehold Facility Project. An additional $500,000 was given to the Y from the Estate of Martin Clarke.


  • Opened our new 6,000 square foot Child Care Enrichment Center at the Freehold facility providing services for infants though school age children.
  • Camp Topanemus parking lot was completed which was a gift from the Preston Family.
  • Opened our 6,000 square foot Wellness Center/2nd Floor Aerobic Studio, Spinning Studio, Offices, Personal Training Room and our second Therapy Pool.


  • Broke ground at Mannino Park where a 31,000 square foot Old Bridge YMCA will be constructed on a 12 acre parcel of land.


  • Grand Opening of Old Bridge Y.
  • $3 million dollar gift through the Middlesex Open Space Program.
  • $1 million dollar donation from Sayreville-Old Bridge Rotary Club.
  • $6.2 million dollar construction project.


  • Merged the Old Bridge and Freehold Swim Teams into the “FOBY” Swim Team.
  • Sold and closed on the Camp Zehnder YMCA
  • Joint Management Agreement with The Community YMCA.


  • New Jersey Natural Gas/Resources donated two days of volunteers to complete needed projects totaling $100,000 and over 1,600 hours of volunteer hours for New Jersey Natural Gas employees.


  • Board of Directors approved a $650,000 project for new outdoor pools for the Freehold Y and Camp Topanemus; both pools were over fifty (50) years old.


  • The outdoor Swim Club at the Freehold Y re-opened.
  • Camp Topanemus pool re-opened for campers.  Also completed new pool slide with decks and fencing.


  • Our New website is launched.
  • Our first billboard rented on Route 33 West for Camp Topanemus.


  • Redesigned, mobile responsive website is launched.
  • Mobile app launches.


  • Collaboration with the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to offer MS One Step, a customized wellness program for individuals with multiple sclerosis.
  • Freehold fitness center redesigned, equipment upgraded.


  • John Worley appointed Interim President/CEO.
  • Hightstown-East Windsor YMCA closed.


  • Board members of YMCA of Western Monmouth County and The Community YMCA vote unanimously to join together as one association in order to strengthen more individuals, families and communities throughout greater Monmouth County.