Our Impact Then, Now, & Into the Future
It was in 1971, that our founder, the late Ralph J. Stolle, first saw an unfilled need for a community space built on the mission to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. He sought the help of other local business leaders - George Henkle, Charles Hamilton, Ellis Thompson, Neil Armstrong, Marvin Young, Mike Norris– to come up with a solution. Ralph and his group visited 27 YMCAs before opening the doors to Countryside YMCA in 1978. Since then, we have become the largest and most comprehensive YMCA in the country…and even one of the largest in the world.
What began as an eight-lane outdoor pool, has grown into a 230,000-square-foot facility. But this facility – as amazing as it is – would be just another building without our YMCA programs which are designed to meet the needs of this community. From preschool outreach to disease prevention programs, from youth sports to swim lessons for those with special needs, from camps to active older adult programs, we’ve adapted to the changing needs and we’ll continue to do so.
We are tasked with serving all of Warren County, a huge geographical space housing over 200,000 people, and we recognized that in order to serve more of these people we would have to take Countryside YMCA into other locations. In 2007, we opened a small facility in Deerfield Township; in 2013 we partnered with Otterbein Retirement Community and opened a facility in their Life Enrichment Center; in 2016 we purchased a building in Maineville for childcare and other programs. What’s most valuable to us, however, is the fact that we’ve grown from serving 1,214 charter families to currently serving 8,500 families.
There are few opportunities in life when you are asked to share in a project vision that will yield results in your lifetime. Over the years thousands of children, seniors, young adults, and families have benefitted from our enriching and engaging programs. The positive impact that the YMCA mission has had on these lives is impossible to measure, but these endless possibilities for good is what will inspire us to continue to serve our community for generations to come.