It started out as a small organization on Second Street in 1902 and has blossomed into a cornerstone of the community…the Marietta YMCA is celebrating its 110th anniversary with a celebration tomorrow.
WMOA News spoke with the Y’s CEO Suzy Zumwalde, who says it’s a holding a big party, free and open to the entire community. “There will be lots of activities for the entire family – a bounce house, inflatable obstacle course, a magician, balloon animals, corn hole, and free snacks. We’ve also put together a slide show showing different pictures and activities that have happened at the Marietta Y over the past 110 years.”
Zumwalde says the Y moved to its current location on Seventh Street in the mid-fifties.
“It’s neat for me to talk to some of the people who took swimming lessons here when the pool was first built. Also, there are those who attended the teen dances…and now their grandchildren are going to our teen dances – so it’s very interested to talk with people who’ve been involved with the Y for so long and are still involved,” says Zumwalde.
She says the YMCA’s mission has always stayed the same, but how it serves Marietta’s needs has evolved.
“Where we are today is very different from where this community was thirty or forty years ago and we continuously adapt our programs to what the needs are,” explains Zumwalde, “Back in the 1970s and 1980s, childcare became really popular when both parents were going to work, so YMCA’s became the largest childcare providers.”
She notes a new focus on health and wellness. “There’s a big push right now for active and healthy lifestyles and the Y is a critical part of that. We try to promote physical activity and good nutrition into everything we do – not just for those who come here to work out,” says Zumwalde.
For example, she notes that in their childcare programs they put an emphasis on health snacks, when ten years ago, milk and cookies were okay.
Suzy Zumwalde thanks Marietta for the support over the years and says they couldn’t be here today without the community. “We’re excited for this weekend and want the entire community to come out and celebrate with us.”
The 110th anniversary celebration is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. It will be held outdoors in the main parking lot, attendees can park in the side parking lot or nearby.