This building served as home to The Family YMCA in 1955. Courtesy/YMCA
Local youth, identified in the photo, attend a high school Y program. Courtesy/YMCA
Call for Memories, Photos and To Follow On Facebook
In the 1950s a dedicated group of volunteers, recognizing the isolation and lack of activities for families in Los Alamos, got together to forward the idea of starting a YMCA in the community.
Since the “hill” was federal property, this would require an Act of Congress. Their work paid off and in October 1955, The Family YMCA became the first “family” YMCA in the country, and also the first Y to be established by an Act of Congress.
The Family YMCA is the official, registered and unique name of the independent chapter Y. Since its establishment, more than 480 other “family” Ys have formed in the United States.
This year marks the 60th anniversary for the Y in Los Alamos. In commemoration of this event, the organization is issuing a call for memories, photos and stories that will be used to celebrate its diamond anniversary. The Y will share stories in its emailed newsletter and weekly on Facebook: The Family YMCA.
To share information, contact Y Senior Program Director Diana Martinez at 505.662.3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Family YMCA:
The Y was founded in 1955 in Los Alamos and is dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. The Y is a charity dedicated to ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. In 2014, the Y provided $120,000 in financial assistance to 249 individuals. The Y’s mission is to build individual, family, and community strength by focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For more information visit www.laymca.org/index.shtml.
Before he was an innovative Superintendent in Los Alamos, Duane Smith was an assistant principal and Y Student Council Director. Smith, who had difficultly reading as a youth, became a leader in the state forwarding education for youth with special needs. His work put New Mexico in the forefront of nation for providing enriching education for youth with special needs. Courtesy/YMCA
In 1968, walls begin going up at the soon to be new Y facility along present day Iris Street. This is a view facing south easterly. Courtesy/YMCA
Two Y campers rally outside of the Y building – a view barely recognizable today. Courtesy/YMCA