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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives wish to congratulate the YMCA of Springfield
4(Springfield Y) on the occasion of its 150th anniversary; and
5    WHEREAS, On March 25, 1874, the Springfield Y was formed
6in the basement of First Presbyterian Church by a group of
7individuals who saw a need to provide young men with reading
8rooms and meeting spaces as an alternative to saloons; by
91885, the organization had constructed its first building,
10which housed meeting spaces, education, exercise spaces, and a
11dormitory for young men needing shelter; and
12    WHEREAS, Before redirecting its focus on sports and
13fitness, the Springfield Y stood at the forefront of
14addressing the City of Springfield's joblessness through
15creating and offering job training and work competency
16programs for young men; and
17    WHEREAS, In the late 1800s, the Springfield Y expanded
18into young men's sports by organizing baseball teams in the
19area; the organization proceeded to offer basketball in 1891,
20bringing basketball leagues to the area by 1908; and
21    WHEREAS, The Springfield Y constructed a new building at



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17th and Capital in 1908, and this property housed some of the
2first structured fitness programs in Springfield, its
3competitive sports programs, including basketball and
4baseball, and one of the area's first indoor swimming pools,
5which allowed the organization to begin offering swim lessons;
7    WHEREAS, In the 1930s and 1940s, the Springfield Y created
8a teen night club, which it hosted in the basement as a fun,
9safe space for youth to gather and dance; and
10    WHEREAS, Due to the Great Depression and World War II, the
11Springfield Y postponed constructing a new YMCA facility until
121962, when it opened a new building at 4th and Cook; and
13    WHEREAS, The Springfield Y helped bring youth soccer to
14Springfield in 1967; the organization's soccer program became
15nationally known by 1974, was one of the first coed youth
16sports programs in the area, and is regarded as the genesis of
17every youth, high school, and college soccer program in
18central Illinois today; and
19    WHEREAS, In the early 1970s, the Springfield Y established
20before and after school care for low-income families; and
21    WHEREAS, The Springfield Y permitted women to become full



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1members in 1974, two years before the YMCA of the USA adopted
2its policy and four years before it banned gender
3discrimination nationwide; and
4    WHEREAS, The Springfield Y created a Women's Health Center
5at its 4th and Cook location in 1980; that same year, the
6organization also adopted a single parent discounted family
7rate; and
8    WHEREAS, The Springfield Y opened a new day camp lodge,
9YMCA Camp Wa-Kon-Tah, on Lake Springfield in 1988 to serve
10more children attending its summer camp programs; and
11    WHEREAS, The Springfield Y celebrated its 125th
12anniversary in 1999; and
13    WHEREAS, The Springfield Y opened its new $18 million
14Kerasotes facility, which offered state-of-the-art fitness
15facilities, pools, and child care facilities, to better serve
16the community in 2011; and
17    WHEREAS, To replace its aging downtown structure, the
18Springfield Y opened a new $33 million downtown facility at
194th and Carpenter in 2020; and
20    WHEREAS, After 56 years, the Springfield Y opened its own



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1soccer fields to provide more opportunities for local youth at
2its Kerasotes facility in 2023; and
3    WHEREAS, That same year, the Springfield Y distributed
44,000 food boxes and helped provide relief to local victims of
5the historic storms that struck from June 29 to June 30; the
6organization also provided over 1,400 at-risk and underserved
7kids with several programs and activities, including summer
8camps, sports, and after school spaces through its Strong Kids
9Fund; and
10    WHEREAS, The Springfield Y will celebrate its 150th
11anniversary with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a celebration
12at the location of the organization's first meeting, First
13Presbyterian Church, on March 25, 2024; therefore, be it
16we congratulate the YMCA of Springfield (Springfield Y) on its
17150th anniversary, thank the organization for its dedication
18to serving the City of Springfield, and wish its staff and
19volunteers continued success in the years to come; and be it
21    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
22presented to the Springfield Y as an expression of our esteem



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1and respect.