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.