The idea of a YMCA was first thought of by twenty two year old men.  The first gentleman George Williams along with eleven of his friends organized the first Young Men’s Christian Association in London. Its purpose was to be a refuge for young men who escaped from a dangerous life. The Y offered something, “new” for its time; it strived to meet social and community needs. A retired sea captain; Thomas Valentine Sullivan, the second gentleman involved in establishing this organization, had the same idea as that of Williams. He used his idea to provide for the needs of sailors and merchants for a “home away from home.”  He created his Y at the Old South Church in Boston in1851. The Y has evolved from being a place to stay to the nation’s largest non-profit organization committed to nurturing the potential of young and old alike, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. In 1912, Catherine and Anna Alexander, daughters of a prominent Carbondale businessman, donated $10,000 for the establishment of the YMCA. Boyd & Stewart, architects from Pittsburgh received the commission to design the building. The original YMCA opened in 1914. Recently, the YMCA received a “total” remodel where a new building was attached to the existing building.  This remodeling was a community effort.  Community members along with local businesses raised funds in an effort to better serve the surrounding communities.




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