The YMCA of Western Monmouth County’s roots began in 1894 in the Borough of Freehold. After 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.