Olympic Peninsula YMCA celebrates 65th anniversary

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PORT ANGELES — The Olympic Peninsula YMCA will celebrate its 65th anniversary with an open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The event at the Clallam County branch at 302 S. Francis St. in Port Angeles, is open to the public and will feature historical displays, a chance to reconnect with people and food catered by Oven Spoonful.

A short program from 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. will recognize “Y History Makers,” people who have had a major impact on the YMCA since its incorporation in 1948.

Special guest Dave Duro, Clallam County YMCA executive director from 1989-1994 and now senior resource director with YMCA of the USA, will be recognized as a history maker and will say a few words about his years in Port Angeles.

Other Y History Makers to be recognized are:

■ Brooke Taylor, who along with his late father Stanley Taylor, had a huge impact on the start and growth of the Y.

Stanley was a founding member of the first board in 1948 and the first board president.

Brooke carried on the tradition, serving as a leader of the board throughout the ‘90s, starting the Y golf tournament with Dana Shaltry and serving as board president from 1997-98.

■ Gerry Huston, Ray Hanson, Mike Robinson, and Dan Maguire: all past Y executives who developed many of the Y’s programs and led fundraising campaigns.

Huston and Hanson developed the Hi-Y teen clubs and built the gymnasium in 1964.

A family member will accept honors on behalf of the late Huston.

Robinson was the director during the $1 million fundraising campaign in 1986 to build the new Y building.

Robinson is unable to attend and his daughter will accept in his place.

Maguire started the Jefferson County YMCA branch, brought North Olympic AmeriCorps under Y supervision and led a $300,000 building expansion in 1999.

■ Mac Ruddell, Bob McCartney, Edna Petersen, Jim Butler,and Rhianna and Dana Shaltry: Y volunteers who led major capital fundraising campaigns and events.

Working with Robinson, Ruddell and McCartney led the 1986 fundraising campaign for the new building. Ruddell was the campaign chairman and McCartney was the major gifts chairman.

Robinson has said: “It wouldn’t have been built without them.”

Petersen and Butler led the campaign to raise $600,000 to retire the mortgage on the new building in 1993. They convinced financial institutions — First Federal was the first — to forgive part of the debt and raised the remainder, the Y said in a prepared statement.

Petersen served on the Y board for 30 years and Butler served on the board for 25 years.

Relatives of the late Ruddell and Butler will accept honors on their behalf.

Dana and Rhianna Saltry have been major donors to the Y for 25 years and have been responsible for providing scholarships for more than 1,300 people, the Y said.

As a board member, Dana with Brooke Taylor started the Y golf tournament in 1989.

■ Mark Bowes, who has served the Y for 40 years as a youth volunteer, youth program director and staff trainer.

The YMCA history in this area is one of steady growth in serving people.

In 1948 the first operating budget was $10,000 and boasted 200 registrations and one staff person.

Today, the Y budget is $2.3 million with registrations in programs and membership hitting 6,400 in 2012.

The staff has grown from one to 11 full-time and 70 part-time staff.

The Y started in a small space in the fire station on Lincoln Street, grew into the old hospital building at 302 S. Francis St., and today has branches in Port Angeles and Port Townsend.

Programs offered have grown from just a few to more than 100.

They include health and fitness classes for all ages, camps, after-school programs, youth sports, youth mentoring, teen leadership, academic support and supervision of the North Olympic AmeriCorps program.

Growth has been made possible by many volunteers, donors and supporters over the years. The Y presently has 345 active volunteers and more than 400 donors.

Last modified: May 03. 2013 1:39PM
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