Preserve, nurture and advance the historic Christian purpose and principles of the YMCA movement
June 6, 2014 marked the 170th anniversary of the Y – a global organization that began with a simple but powerful idea: a strong, supportive community can help people build healthier, happier lives. Since its founding, the Y has grown into one of the world’s largest volunteer organizations and become renowned for its commitment to helping people of every background reach their potential.
From its humble beginnings on June 6, 1844 in London by George Williams and 11 friends, the Y saw to and met the practical and spiritual needs of young men flocking to London during the Industrial Revolution.
You can hear the story of the Y’s founding, told in the ‘first person view’. The Greenwood Family YMCA CEO Gray Stallworth began portraying the Y’s Founder George Williams back in 2002. Pulling together some era clothing, researching the history of the founders, and then bringing it all together into a presentation has been something Stallworth said he’s really enjoyed. “It’s fun! I can’t fake an English accent, so I don’t even try!”
The idea of telling the story of the founding of the Y came as a way to preserve the deep and historic Christian purpose. “I always have people tell me that they had no idea the Y had this kind of history.” George Williams talks about how the Y spread to every continent, now in its 170th year!
Stallworth said the presentation can be geared for a family audience, a children’s message or for an audience of adults. The presentation is typically between 10-12 minutes but can be changed to meet the needs of the audience. You can request the presentation by calling the YMCA at 864/223-9622.