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updated: 6/12/2012 4:59 PM

Share memories as Lake Co. Family YMCA marks 100 years

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  • The YMCA building at County and Clayton streets in downtown Waukegan opened in 1925 and served as a residential and/or recreational center for more than 60 years. The residential dorms were closed in 1979 and the Y moved to its current Waukegan location in 1987.

      The YMCA building at County and Clayton streets in downtown Waukegan opened in 1925 and served as a residential and/or recreational center for more than 60 years. The residential dorms were closed in 1979 and the Y moved to its current Waukegan location in 1987.
    Waukegan Historical Society photo archives

 
Barrie Fromme/Lake County Family YMCA

Got a fond YMCA memory? It might be a summer camp, swimming or fitness experience. Whatever your memory is, Lake County Family YMCA would like to hear your Y story and include it as part of its centennial birthday party being held in Waukegan, where it all began. The celebration takes place on Wednesday, July 18, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Northern Lake YMCA, 2000 Western Ave.

If you have a memory you'd like to share: Simply write it down on a card that's available at the Northern Lake Y as well as at Central Lake YMCA, 700 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills; e-mail your story to aoconnell@ymcalakecounty.org; or "like" Lake County Family YMCA on Facebook and write your memory on the Y's wall. All memories received by July 9 will be part of a special display at the July 18 event.

To mark 100 years of service to its communities, Lake County Family YMCA has planned an afternoon of fun, nostalgia and refreshments. The public is invited to join YMCA members in activities including family games such as an obstacle course, tug-of-war and water-balloon fights. The Rope Warrior, who performs jump rope stunts that most of us can't even imagine, will make an appearance. Mascots from Northwestern University and Rain Forest Café also will be on hand for the celebration.

The roots of Lake County Family YMCA, which also operates the Central Lake Y in Vernon Hills, can be traced to the Waukegan YMCA. Creation of the first YMCA building -- where the Genesee Theatre now stands -- was completed in 1912. From there the Y moved to its second downtown Waukegan location -- the northwest corner of County and Clayton streets -- in 1925 and then to its current facility in 1987. The Central Lake YMCA opened in 2001.

The Lake County Family YMCA is a cause-driven nonprofit that strengthens the community through programs and services that foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Chartered in 1912 as a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit, our association is comprised of the Central Lake YMCA in Vernon Hills, Northern Lake YMCA in Waukegan and Early Head Start in Waukegan. To learn more, visit www.ymcalakecounty.org