The YMCA first came to life in the 1850’s when members met in private homes and rented rooms in the
local bank or library sponsoring bible classes, prayer services and missionary work.
The YMCA in Wilmington began to acquire its reputation for building bodies as well as
minds when the organization built its first headquarters on the northwest corner of Front & Grace Streets
in 1891 equipped with meeting rooms, a gymnasium, and probably the first swimming pool in the city.
As early as 1893 the Y began offering affordable night school classes in basic subjects
like arithmetic, history, writing and spelling.By 19ll, the course load has expanded to include
singing, penmanship, shorthand, bookkeeping, grammar, business correspondence, typing, Latin and Greek.
In 1913 the YMCA moved to its second location on Market Street and Third. The new building
included elevators, a reading room and a lounge, an assembly hall and game room, a gym with a track,
locker rooms, a pool, kitchen and a large banquet hall.
In 1963 a Capital Campaign was conducted, resulting in our current location at 2710 Market Street under the
leadership of Board President, Cliff Ewart and Executive Director Adam Smith.
Beginning in 1972 under the leadership of Board President Charles E. Berganini and Development Committee
Chairman Louie E, Woodbury Jr. a capital campaign was approved raising over $700,000 for expansion to the YMCA.
Opening date was March 1975 adding a large fitness center for men, handball/racquetball courts and the acquisition
of new acreage to include soccer and ball fields, a track and 2nd parking lot.
In 1983 this YMCA expanded and added the Women’s Fitness Center, a new Sr. Men’s Basic locker room and a full
line of Nautilus exercise equipment.
In 1990 a Capital campaign was launched to raise funds for a new indoor swimming pool. There were many generous
friends of the YMCA whose contributions made the new pool a reality so that in 1991 the Jean Greene Natatorium was opened.
In 1997 a back entrance, teen center, downstairs aerobics room, the 29th street entrance and an elevator were added to the facility.
In 1999 a Cardio Corridor room was added along with a new line of Cybex equipment to the Nautilus room.
In 2001 long time friend of the Y Bill Maus generously donated $10,000 for our new Hammer Strength Weight Room.
In 2005 all cardio equipment was updated with Precor equipment and a cottage for our after- school program and Camp High Hopes was built.
2006 the YMCA Café was added for members to enjoy healthy snacks and a place to relax and socialize.
In 2007 the planning began for the first annual Beach to Battleship full and half distance triathlon. The 1,000 or so participants
come from 35 states and six countries in North America, Europe and Australia. The event is orchestrated by Set Up Events and 100’s
of volunteers with proceeds benefiting the Wilmington Family YMCA’s We Build People Campaign.
In June of 2007 the Wilmington West Rotary Club’s generous contribution resulted in a new kids play ground.
In 2008 4 pieces of Sci-fit equipment for the Physibility and Inclusion Program were added to the Cybex room so enabling
members with and with out disabilities enjoy participating in YMCA activities together and side by side.
In January of 2010 the Wilmington Family YMCA celebrated the opening of the YMCA Kids Zone for youth ages 6-12 with age appropriate
fitness equipment, Wii, Dance Dance Revolution, game bikes and an obstacle course. Currently over 170 children are registered for the new
program created to inspire young youth to live a healthier lifestyle by reaching out and engaging them in their well-being of mind and body.
The result of generous contributions by members Mike and Kathleen Glancy and Cecil Worsley III, this program is free with family membership.