1844:  YMCA formed in London.

1851:  First USA, YMCA organized in Boston.

1855:  First YMCA camp for boys, Camp Dudley.

1859:  First YMCA gym opens, using old cannon balls for exercise.

1889: The Batavia YMCA founded as a village organization May 3rd; Rooms were set up on the 3rd floor of the Times building on Jackson Street; YMCA incorporated in June with Charles M. Harrington as Executive Secretary.

1889:  Rooms were set up on the 3rd floor of the Times building on Jackson Street.

1889:  YMCA incorporated in June with Charles M. Harrington as Executive Secretary.

1890:  January 29th the YMCA moved the newly constructed Farmers’ Bank on the corner of Main and Jackson.

1891:  Basketball invented at Springfield Y College by Dr. James Naismith.

1895:  Volleyball invented at Holyoke, Massachusetts YMCA by William G. Morgan.

1896:  Weight lifting invented and classes taught at Hartford, Connecticut YMCA.

1897:  YMCA’s lease with the Farmers’ Bank expires. Trustees vote to move to the Alva Smith house on Park Place new lease for 3 years. 

1900: Byron Huntley offers to purchase the Y’s present home if the YMCA would raise enough to build a meeting hall. In April the Daily News reported the YMCA finally owned its own home. The newly refurbished YMCA with its new meeting hall was rededicated November 24.

1900’s: The Y begins to feel the need for more room. A special committee recommends a new site on Main Street.

1906: YMCA launches first water safety and learn-to-swim program.

1910: YMCA fosters Boy Scouts of America and encourages it to become a separate organization.

1911: The YMCA purchases the home of Dr. John LeSeur at 209 East Main in June for $10,000; A successful drive raises $50,000 and enables the YMCA to contract Shattock and Hussey of Chicago specialist in YMCA building to build their new home.

1913: The completed YMCA was ready in May and dedicated with one full week of special exercises.

1921: Lawrence A. Godfrey becomes Executive Secretary

1923: Arthur E. Tyson becomes Executive Secretary; YMCA begins utilizing Silver Lake Camp facility in Wyoming County jointly with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

1925: Clarence Hosmer becomes Executive Secretary.

1927: Alex Rankin become Executive Secretary.

1939: YMCA assumes ownership of the Silver Lake Camp via a gift from Arthur G. Hough.

1946: Trustees launch a building drive with Wallace Stakel as chairman to modernize the building.

1947: Albert McNabb becomes Executive Secretary.


1950: With a successful funding drive, Ivan Cromwell of LeRoy was contracted to make changes. The refurbishment YMCA is opened on July 1, 1950.

1955: A new fund drive begins to build a new gymnasium and rooms for the use of younger boys. Again a successful drive results in contracting Louis Viele to build the new gymnasium behind the old one and the new recreation rooms.

1957: The new gymnasium and recreation rooms open November 12; Batavia Teachers’ Association gives money for craft house at the new YMCA camp at silver Lake. Craft House a memorial to Dr. Dexter Pierce; After Arthur G Hough’s death, the YMCA camp at silver lake becomes known as camp Arthur G. Hough.

1960: A. Joseph Murphy becomes Executive Director of the YMCA.

1975: The YMCA had again outgrown its facility. The YMCA board of directors, faced with a decision to remodel or build, decided to stay on Main Street and build a new facility. A million-dollar fundraiser was undertaken to construct a new facility, tear down the 1920’s building, but leave the 1950’s gymnasium intact. The Y broke ground for its new facility while the City of Batavia simultaneously began construction of an adjoining pool and Senior Citizen Center.

1977: The new YMCA facility opens at 209 East Main Street, Batavia and YMCA enters an agreement with the City of Batavia to operate the community swimming pool.

1982: The YMCA opens Nautilus room.

1986: Capital fund drive raises $250,000 to renovate the 1950 gymnasium and Camp Hough.

1989: Gary W. Colvin becomes Executive Director/ CEO; After School Center opens at the YMCA; Wellness Center/Strength Center dedicated.

1995: Wess Audsley is hired as Executive Director/ CEO; Over the next 15 years the YMCA’s reach and impact will have expanded from a single facility serving a small city of 15,000 to a four-county association with the potential to reach over 220,000 underserved GLOW county residents. The GLOW YMCA operates facilities and provides services across four rural counties in Western New York. The YMCA has branches in Batavia/ Genesee County, serving the area since 1889; Warsaw/Wyoming County, opened in 2002; Medina/Orleans County opened in 1985 and Camp Arthur G. Hough, a residence camp in Perry, operating since 1911. The YMCA is in the process of developing the branch operation in Geneseo to serve all of Livingston County.

1996: The YMCA’s board of trustees gives the YMCA a $50,000 gift and loans the Y $200,000 for renovation at the YMCA and the development of Red Pines Leadership & Challenge Center at Camp Hough.

1997: Camp Hough/ Red Pines expand usage and enjoys 8 months of operation; YMCA moves to single their membership format.

1998: The YMCA opens the Kid’s Gym in a renovated racquetball court; The YMCA and the City of Batavia sign 10-year agreement extending their partnership to operate the City Pool; The YMCA elects its first female board president, Leslie Harrower.

1999: The YMCA announces a $5.6 million dollar gift from Warsaw natives and brothers Bud and Don Humphrey. The majority of the contribution is to be used to develop, construct and operate a branch YMCA serving Wyoming County. Additional funds are set aside to renovate Camp Hough and establish an endowment fund to provided scholarship assistance to Wyoming County youth to go to summer camp at Camp Hough.


2000: The Wyoming County YMCA steering committee is formed and charged to oversee development, design and construction of the Wyoming County YMCA.

2001: The Humphrey Bathhouse is completed along with other improvements at Camp Hough and construction begins on the Wyoming County YMCA.

2002: The Genesee Area Family YMCA completes a $250,000 renovation project that included the creation of new pre-school classrooms, a special-needs wellness room and a multi-purpose room, as well as the renovation of the gymnasium and group exercise room. On July 8, 2002 the 40,000 square foot Wyoming County YMCA opens its doors with Genesee Community College operating an 8,000 square foot satellite campus within the YMCA.

2003: The Genesee Area Family YMCA purchases the City Pool and begins independent operations.

2005: The membership of the YMCA votes to change the corporate name of the YMCA and a revise its corporate by-laws. The Young Men’s Christian Association of Batavia, New York is renamed the Genesee/Wyoming YMCA, Inc., comprised of the Genesee Area Family YMCA in Batavia, Camp Arthur G. Hough in Perry and the Wyoming county YMCA in Warsaw.

2007: Genesee/Wyoming YMCA enters into a management agreement with the Lake Plains YMCA in Medina and begins discussions with local volunteers to merge the two independent Associations.

2009: The Lake Plains YMCA is dissolved and becomes the Orleans County YMCA, a branch of the Genesee/Wyoming YMCA.

The Livingston County YMCA is chartered by the YMCA of the USA as a Branch of the Genesee/Wyoming YMCA and announces a partnership with SUNY Geneseo to build a facility on the SUNY campus.

2010: The YCMA once again changes its name to reflect its growing service area. The organization is now called the GLOW YMCA, Inc.

2011: Wess Audsley accepts the position of Vice President of YUSA Resources after 16 years with the GLOW YMCA. Scott Taylor from the Akron Area YMCA in Ohio is hired as CEO to lead the GLOW YMCA.

2012: The Orleans County Y completes a full proof replacement and new interior lighting program with assistance from volunteers, donors and NYSERDA.

2014: Rob Walker CEO accepts position after 25 years of YMCA service in Rochester and Buffalo in a variety of leadership positions.

2016: Discussion begin about YMCA/and UMMC on building a state of the art Healthy Living Campus in downtown Batavia. The GLOW YMCA selected the campaign cabinet and the cabinet began to work towards the fundraising goal.

2018: GLOW YMCA experience rapid expansion in collaborations and off site programs in Before & After School Programs, Summer Camps and Universal Pre-K.

2019: The GLOW YMCA launches capital campaign to build new Health Living Campus.