Our History

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In 1923 a sprightly Englishman came to High Point to be the General Secretary of the newly formed chapter of the Young Men's Christian Association. When the Association building was completed, Edgar Hartley staged a foot race from the corner of Green and Main Streets to the facility at the corner of Main and Russell. The race was won by "Chigger" Moffitt, whose prize was the privilege of being the first member of the High Point YMCA.

During the first two decades of the YMCA, the programs centered on activities for boys, primarily swimming, soccer and other sports, club programs, Sunday school, and teen programs. As High Point's young men began to enter the service, the YMCA, like American Y's everywhere, provided service to men of the armed forces. Minutes of a Board meeting in the early 1940's reveal that 500 servicemen used the YMCA in a single month, and some 200 were at a Saturday dance.

After the war came a strong emphasis on Hi-Y, a club program for high school boys. The building at Main and Russell was enlarged to include handball courts, a health club, and two floors of residence rooms. Sports leagues were popular as the YMCA conducted leagues for dozens of basketball and softball teams. Basketball, as always, was popular. The High Point YMCA team traveled to Butler, PA in 1952 and won the national YMCA championship. The following year, the national tournament was held at the High Point YMCA, the first time it had ever been held in the South. The High Point team lost in the finals to a team from the Christian Street YMCA in Philadelphia, which featured a 16-year-old, 6'9" boy named Wilt Chamberlain.

In 1942 a group of black ministers petitioned the YMCA for a "YMCA branch for the colored boys of the community". The Carl Chavis Branch began operation in 1944 on the second floor of a building on Washington Street. It was named after an African American soldier from High Point who sacrificed his life in the war. Their early programs were table games, such as pool, Hi-Y and singing groups. In 1958 a new building was opened on Fourth Street for the operation of the Carl Chavis YMCA.  The Carl Chavis YMCA now operates in partnership with the High Point Housing Authority and operates a full service YMCA and a 5 Star licensed Child Care center in south High Point.

In 1957 moves were made to acquire several acres of property near Roaring Gap for a campsite. As the Association had no funds available, the Y's Men's Club, a group of Y members organized as a service club for the YMCA, borrowed the money to purchase the property, signing personally to guarantee the note. In 1960, the first group of campers went the camp, which had been named Camp Cheerio, reflecting the parting word of Edgar Hartley to his friends.Camp Cheerio now has a capacity of 200 campers and serves all ages from early March to late November.

By 1975, the YMCA had reorganized to a "metropolitan" structure, with a Board of Directors and a Branch board of management for the Hartley Drive, Carl Chavis and Cheerio Branches. Later in that decade the United Way asked the YMCA to consider operating a Big Brother type program for fatherless boys. The Y accepted the challenge, adding the program to an already heavy staff load. A steering committee for the program began working for affiliation through the national Big Brother/Big Sister agency. Largely through the committee chair's effort, an LPGA golf tournament was secured for High Point with Big Brothers/Big Sisters as the tournament beneficiary. In 1981, BB/BS hired a full time worker and became a Branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of High Point.

A capital campaign in 1977 resulted in $2.5 million being raised for the construction of a new building on the north side of High Point. A subsequent campaign in 1987 provided funds for additional construction at the Central Family (now Hartley Drive Family), Carl Chavis, and Cheerio Branches.

The Archdale-Trinity YMCA was chartered in 2005 and began with the merging of the local Little League Baseball program and Guil-Rand Youth Soccer Association and summer day camp held at Trindale Community Church.  A soccer complex was purchased in 2006 on Turnpike Road in Trinity and now has 350 youth soccer participants.  A gift from Carl and Linda Grubb led to the construction of a 30,000 square foot facility on Highway 62, and the Carl & Linda Grubb Family YMCA opened in May, 2010.

The YMCA created the YMCA of High Point Foundation, Inc in December of 2013. The Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors focused on growing the endowment fund (Heritage Club) and all philanthropic strategies that support YMCA youth programs and services.

Today, the YMCA of High Point has an annual operating budget revenue of $8.4 million with assets totally $17.5 million. Over 360 full-time and part-time staff serve in its four branches. In 2013 over 15,500 persons ranging in age from six months to senior adults served annually by programs provided by the High Point YMCA. With wide diversity in clientuploads/YMCA.jpgage, culture, economic status, race and social standing, the YMCA serves males and females as one of High Point's premier human service organizations. Activities include camping, child care, leadership training, sports, special populations, and others as determined by branch committees and boards.