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FOR COMMUNITY

Welcome to the YMCA of Southwest Florida. We’re an inclusive, nonprofit organization of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. We’re glad you’re here!

Every day, the Y strengthens communities for kids, adults, seniors and families with programs that protect, teach, connect, heal nourish and encourage. It's how we help communities and the "us" who live in them find the power of their full potential.

Our Mission

The Mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. 

Our Vision

We envision our nonprofit organization – in partnership with others – as an intergenerational community hub with programs, services, and resources available to all persons, regardless of status or ability to pay, that will enable them to improve their quality of life.

Our Impact

The Y is an all-inclusive organization dedicated to making an impact through life-changing services and programs that make our community stronger than yesterday by giving promise for a better future and providing a safe place where everyone belongs.

OUR CORE VALUES

Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility

OUR HISTORY

Year

Milestone

1967

Founded under the Venice Avenue Bridge, the Venice Family YMCA was a place for the children to play sports and the community to gather for positive involvement.

1975

The property on Center Road was acquired under the direction of Jeannette Hanchey and construction followed soon after. The construction of the two main buildings (now the offices and Wellness Center) and the pool began in September of this year.

1976

On June 5th the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Y was held, with the pool officially opening on September 1, 1976. Later, a warehouse marina was donated and construction began on the gymnasium, which would eventually house a Gymnastics Complex as well. 

1981

The dirt parking lot became a thing of the past as the Y moved ahead with an asphalt parking lot.  

1988

The preschool center was constructed, opening yet another opportunity for service for the YMCA. The first preschool class began in the fall of 1988. As our after-school programs grew, which were first offered in 1984 inside our gymnasium, our need for space grew once more. 

1994

The Englewood branch was founded as the need for a community center in the southernmost portion of the county was recognized. During this time, programs were operated out a building on Placida Road in Englewood.

1996

The Catlin Youth Center building was constructed on the Venice campus and we were once again able to increase our service to the community. The Englewood Branch occupied a storefront in Englewood and the first wellness equipment was added.

2002

The Venice Branch Wellness Center was enlarged by 2,500 feet and added state of the art exercise equipment. We air-conditioned the gym and gymnastics complex and refinished the pool surface and pool deck. We refurbished our playgrounds in both the preschool and after-school sections and added a second preschool.

2005

The YMCA unveiled its new 45,000 square foot facility in Englewood in July, thanks to the generosity of the community and Mr. Warren Loranger. With the opening of this facility came increased opportunities and service to the families in this area. 

2006

Englewood Community Hospital opened a rehabilitation center at the Englewood Y. In addition, a third preschool was added on the Island in Venice, allowing us to provide childcare to more than 100 children.

2007

The Michael and Georgia Miller Branch of YMCA of Southwest Florida was added to our Venice Campus. This 65,000 square foot facility offers state of the art equipment as well as meeting space for our members and other organizations within our community. With the opening of the new building, came the opportunity to maximize the usage of the former wellness center. It was renovated into a youth center, offering before and after school care, game room, homework area and more.

2008

The Women’s Wellness Center and American Cancer Society installed offices at our Venice location, thus creating an even stronger alliance with other agencies in our community.

2009

The grand opening of an Outdoor Recreation Center on the campus of our Englewood YMCA occurred, featuring an Alpine climbing tower and campground.

2011

The Fort Myers YMCA joins YMCA of Southwest Florida, through a merge, affording us the opportunity to serve even more families on the Southwest coast of Florida, and expands our territory into Lee County providing the YMCA with more families to serve in the state of Florida.

2011

The SKY Academy opens in August at the Venice YMCA, the first ever charter school of its kind in our area, providing Strength and Knowledge to middle school children in our community

2012

The Bonita Springs YMCA becomes the fourth branch of our YMCA, serving families in the Bonita Springs community and providing service in all of Lee County. This acquisition occurred because the Naples YMCA closed the branch.

2015

A second branch of SKY Academy opens in Englewood, bringing the vision of expanding our mission to and offering an alternative to students in the Englewood community.

2017

The Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and North Port YMCAs joined the YMCA of Southwest Florida, allowing for more families to serve. The acquisition took place in July for improved services and programs for youth, adults, and families in the Charlotte County area.

2018

The Sunshine Education Academy (SEA) was created and the first location was built and opened in conjunction with PGT Industries in Venice. A second Location was open on the Venice YMCA Campus shortly after.

2019 In the summer of 2019, the City of North Port Closed the aged pool at Dallas White Park which the YMCA operated. Then following the September, the YMCA decided to close the doors to the Early Learning Center in North Port due to an insufficient facility that falls below the standard. These closures left the YMCA of Southwest Florida without a facility in North Port but still working to support the community in after school summer camp and programing.
2020 On June 22, 2020, YMCA of Southwest Florida and the Villages of Estero, entered into an agreement for the YMCA to run The Happehatchee Center on 9201 Corkscrew Dr. Estero, FL. This property is five acres of natural setting that backs up to the Estero River. This partnership will allow the YMCA to serve more children from Estero and introduce more people to YMCA environmental programming. Not only does the location have Estero River access for kayaking, but it also has an outdoor studio for yoga and programming, a work shed, and a main building that allows the YMCA to host groups, run summer camps, and hold classes. This location will enable the YMCA to engage in a robust relationship with residents of the Village of Estero. Currently, known as the Happehatchee Center, it will be renamed in the future.
2020 On August 19, 2020, the YMCA of Southwest Florida opened The Suwyn Early Learning Center at the Bonita Springs YMCA. This center will serve 181 children from infants through 12 years of age. The facility has a covered outdoor playground, ten classrooms for early learning and one multipurpose room that can be used for after school programs, training, meetings and community events. This early learning center will allow us to serve thousands of children in Bonita Springs over the next several decades.

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