A Legacy of Fellowship

Learn how the Findlay Family YMCA evolved to become the strong organization that it is today and how we're planning to better serve our membership in the coming years.


Findlay YMCA Incorporated – Located on East Main Cross Street.

Findlay YMCA moved to the Cass Building on South Main Street, then moved to East Sandusky Street.

The Findlay YMCA bought Camp Sandusky.

Fire destroyed the YMCA building at East Sandusky Street. A new facility was built on the corner of East Lincoln Street and East Street, where our Downtown Branch remains.

A gymnasium, two more handball/racquetball courts and a pool were added in 1970.

Land was purchased for camp programming and later named after Ray Mosshart, general secretary of the YMCA from 1933-1979.

The Findlay Racquet Center was purchased by the YMCA.

In October 1994, the YMCA enlisted the community's help to develop its first five-year Strategic Plan, resulting in six major goals being identified in the areas of

a. Facility Development                d. Membership Development
b. Program Development             e. Marketing
c. Financial Development              f. Personnel Development

A committee structure identified 59 action steps, which they believed would have to be accomplished in order to achieve the six goals identified in the plan before the year 2000.

In 1995, the Y expanded its in-house childcare from 40 children to 75 children in response to the most recent needs assessment conducted by United Way of Hancock County.

In 1996, the Y expanded childcare services again and renovated the facility to accommodate up to 193 children in-house. The YMCA began planning for a capital campaign with a community program needs assessment.

In 1998, the YMCA purchased and renovated the Marathon Oil Pipeline facility to house the YMCA Child Development Center, which serves over 300 children daily.

In 1999, the capital campaign and renovations to the Downtown Branch began.

By September 2000, a successful capital campaign raised $6.5 million, with $7.2 million invested in the renovation and expansion of the Downtown Branch.

In June 2001, the new Downtown Branch opened!

In 2002, an East Branch Development Committee was formed to start gathering data from the community regarding the planned development of the East Branch facility.

In 2003, after conducting a Community Program Needs Assessment, the East Branch Development Committee provided results to the YMCA Administrative Board and a plan for renovations began. The YMCA hired Charles Associates, Inc. to serve as project construction manager. Work began on Phases I and II of East Branch renovations and a quiet campaign to raise $500,000 toward the completion of Phase III began.

In 2004, the YMCA and Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center entered into an agreement that would provide the YMCA with an easement to access 40 feet of land north of the East Branch facility to build an access road to the newly designed facility. A total of $500,000 was raised for Phase III construction and work began. The East Branch closed completely from June 27, 2004, until October, when the tennis courts were re-opened.

In 2005, the entire East Branch opened. The new facility included five indoor tennis courts, a TechnoGym fitness center, a free weight room, an all-purpose room used for Judo and cycling programs, an aerobic room, locker rooms, and parking for 85 cars.

The Mary Brenner Child Development Center went through a renovation to replace outdated heating and air conditioning systems.

Blanchard River flooding caused the worst damage within Findlay in 100 years. YMCA staff joined the city's rescue teams, with the YMCA used as a shelter location for responders. YMCA buses transported flood victims to The CUBE on the north side of town. The YMCA's Downtown Branch flooded with 6.5 feet of water, destroying all mechanical systems, meeting rooms, and offices on the lower level and forcing the YMCA to close for two weeks before operations could continue.

In 2008, the Great Recession impacted Findlay and any plans of rebuilding after the flood were postponed. In the face of the poor economy, the YMCA instead elected to reduce membership fees in an effort to provide residents better access to continued services. Offices were rebuilt on the first floor where a chapel and youth department were once housed.

In 2009, the YMCA continued to subsidize membership in a poor economy, and a strategic planning process was launched to address the next three years of recovery from the floods and the impact of the recession.

In 2010, the YMCA rose further to meet challenges of the times by addressing additional social responsibilities precipitated by the flooding and the poor economy. The YMCA took over the operations of Riverside Park Pool and the City of Findlay's day camp when the city announced it could no longer afford to run them.

In 2011, the YMCA Board of Directors performed a feasibility study with the help of Jerold Panas, Linzey & Partners, to determine if the community would support a capital campaign to repair the flood-damaged YMCA Downtown Branch and erect a new youth wing to serve the children of the Findlay community. The results of the feasibility study were positive, but the board elected to postpone the project until local economic conditions improved and to allow other campaigns underway in Findlay to be completed.

Another feasibility study was begun and scheduled for completion by July. The results of the study would determine if the YMCA was properly positioned and the community ready for a capital campaign effort to build a new wing onto the YMCA that would address the needs of our community’s youth.

In 2012, Russ Gartner, who had served as YMCA executive director since June 1994, retired at the end of the year. In October, Brent Finlay from the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA was named the new CEO of the Findlay Family YMCA.

The YMCA assumed responsibility for a new program called Feed-a-Child, which feeds children on weekends who might otherwise go hungry without the support of the school lunch program that sustained them during the school week.

A new three-year strategic plan was officially adopted. The plan highlights youth as a priority. The YMCA turned its attention to creating a new place for Findlay youth to call their own. A citywide youth program needs assessment involved over 750 youth in identifying what kids of Findlay want and need. A youth strategic planning workshop followed. A plan to move toward a capital campaign to build a new facility to meet these needs was underway by the end of 2010, with a feasibility study being first on the agenda for the coming year.

In 2013, a new 10-year strategic plan was created to lead the YMCA through 2023.

The YMCA purchased the final two homes adjacent to the Downtown Branch for future expansion needs.

In 2014, the Y Feed-A-Child program was placed under the umbrella of United Way of Hancock County's Halt Hunger initiative.

The 15th annual YMCA Black Swamp Classic golf outing provided resources to fund youth development and the YMCA's new youth obesity prevention program.

November – YMCA Camp Mosshart was sold.

In 2015, the Downtown Branch expanded the parking lot to accommodate an additional 40 cars.

The East Branch tennis arena was remodeled with proceeds from the Raising a Racquet capital campaign.

In 2016, the YMCA purchased three homes on Hardin Street to provide space for future facility expansion. In July, the East Branch metal roof and gutter system replaced the original roof with a bright blue metal roof along with new landscaping and building signage.

The capital campaign steering committee met to prepare a vibrant vision for the YMCA's future. A grant was received from The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation to orchestrate conceptual plans and a feasibility study.

In 2017, the YMCA announced the development of a new Youth Physical Activity Center at the Downtown Branch, with spring completion funded by the Black Swamp Classic, to reduce youth obesity and inspire youth and families to be active.

The YMCA Board of Directors, in late November, unanimously approved a capital campaign to raise $25 million to expand and renovate both branches.

The Michael Needler Family designated fund was established in the YMCA Endowment.

In 2018, the YMCA purchased the home at 616 Grand Ave. for the expanded footprint of the Downtown Branch.

Brent Finlay retired as YMCA CEO in May 2018.

Paul Worstell was named CEO of the Findlay Family YMCA in October 2018.

In March of 2020, the YMCA was forced to shut down due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Free workouts and youth activities were offered to the public virtually. The facilities reopened on June 1. Feed-A-Child remained in place throughout the shutdown.

The YMCA Child Development Center was designated as a pandemic childcare center and operated at a limited capacity to serve families of essential workers. 

Throughout the pandemic, Riverside Pool continued operations under YMCA management.