150 Years Serving Our Neighbors

Since 1868, the Y has made roots in the Portland metro area. On Mar. 31, 1868, Edward Quackenbush and William Wadhams held the first meeting of the Portland YMCA in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church. The Portland YMCA continued to grow and programs soon extended to sports and aquatics as health and physical education gained popularity. By 1920, their educational classes served to become a technical school called the Oregon Institute of Technology.

Today, 150 years later, we are known as the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette.

 In 2017, we provided opportunities for more than 68,000 people to experience personal growth, strengthened relationships and better communities. We are better able to meet our members, participants, parents and family’s needs because of generous contributions from donors. We provided more than $1.6 million in financial assistance last year, so more people of all ages could participate in affordable Y programs.

We are excited and honored to be such a large part of this vibrant community. Throughout the year, our YMCA programs and Y locations will showcase our anniversary and champion 150 years of service through a variety of events in the Portland and Vancouver metro communities.

On Oct. 27, at the Oregon Convention Center we hosted more than 1,000 people for our anniversary celebration. We raised $1,375,000 during our year-long celebration of 150 years of service, which culminated on Oct. 27. That evening we continued the celebration, which included an intimate concert with GRAMMY Award winner, Amy Grant, BBQ dinner, live auction and a paddle raise. We also raffled off a 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE. You can read more about the event in this short story

Thank you to everyone who attended the 150th anniversary celebration. We are grateful for your commitment to our mission and cause.