Saginaw YMCA Celebrates Its Sesquicentennial

YMCA members join folks from the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce, dancing with a DJ, to what else...the Village People and "YMCA". (WSGW News photo by Bill Hewitt)

Maybe you learned how to swim at the ‘Y’ or your first time away from your parents was a week at Camp Timbers near West Branch.

Saginaw YMCA President Steve Meyer says teens from the 50’s and 60’s attended the ‘Y A Go-Go Dances’. A number of famous music groups, including the Dave Clark 5 plus Sonny & Cher, got an early start performing at the ‘Y’. Simon & Garfunkel wrote their song “America’, in Saginaw, with its famous line, it took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw.

As the local ‘Y’ celebrates its 150 years in Saginaw the ‘Y’ will be sharing more of those personal memories. In 1942, a U.S. Navy destroyer was sunk by the Japanese in the South Pacific. There were 60 sailors who survived, 43 learned how to swim at the ‘Y’.

Meyer said the ‘Y’ is more than a gym,it offers a wide variety of programs and services for people of all ages.

With its partner agency, the Boys and Girls Clubs, a special capital improvement program, ‘KidsCampUs’, is well on its way to raising $4.1 million for improvements at the ‘Y’, 1915 Fordney,  the Boys and Girls Clubs, across the street in the former Junior  Achievement  building and Camp Timbers, near West Branch. So far, pledges have totaled $3.5 million.

(WSGW News photos by Bill Hewitt)

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