Our Story Begins Here...

History of Our Y

YMCA begins: June 6, 1844

The YMCA is founded by George Williams in response to unhealthy social conditions arising in the big cities at the end of the Industrial Revolution. By the time Williams is knighted by Queen Victoria in 1894, there are 5,000 YMCAs in 24 countries and more than 500,000 members. 

Y Comes to Valpo: 1896-1923

The first YMCA in Porter County is founded on the Valparaiso University Campus.

Porter County YMCA Charter: 1946

Porter County community sees a need and organizes the Porter County YMCA. The charter is issued by the National YMCA.

Porter County YMCA Opens: 1951

The Porter County YMCA facility is built on Byron Smith’s property on the corner of Washington and Chicago Streets.

ALLWays Learning Opens, now Y Preschool Downtown: Sept 5, 1995

ALLWays Learning Child Development Center opens in SELF School. The toddler and preschool child care program opens to serve needs of working families. 

Valparaiso Family YMCA Opens: May 4, 2009

State-of-the-art facility opens at 5:00 a.m. with a total membership of 7,500 individuals. 

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: June 24, 2009

Numerous community leaders, supporters, volunteers and staff attend the Ribbon-Cutting event, sponsored by the Valpo Chamber of Commerce event.

Pavilion Ribbon-Cutting: May 22, 2012

The Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce helps the YMCA celebrate the opening of its new, open-air, outdoor pavilion.

Today

The Valparaiso Family YMCA serves over 15,000 members of all ages, incomes, faiths, abilities, and backgrounds. Here, everyone has the opportunity to become healthier, more confident, and more engaged in the community.