Family YMCA of the Desert’s History

1982

  • Established. YMCA of Riverside offered programs in the Coachella Valley prior to opening.

1982 – 1984

  • The Y embarked on a Capital Campaign, eventually acquiring two acres of land in Palm Desert.

1984

  • Merger with Palm Desert Youth Center on Portola Avenue to offer more services.

1986

  • Y purchased modular facilities and moved the Youth Center and YMCA offices to Magnesia Falls Park in Palm Desert.

1987

  • Y began to provide before and after school programs at some Desert Sands Schools (on each campus). Other programs initiated included youth basketball, day and resident camps, and gymnastics.

1988

  • Y holds first annual “Hoedown at Sundown” childcare fund-raiser, raising money to support childcare throughout the Valley.

1989

  • Y after school programs were licensed per directive of California State Department of Social Services.
  • Programs launched at Monroe Elementary in Bermuda Dunes and Ford Elementary in Palm Desert.
  • Plans begin with the City of Palm Desert for Y facility construction/lease with the Palm Desert Redevelopment Agency.

1990

  • Y Palm Desert facility opened on San Pablo Avenue, creating a central location to better serve families and children

1991

  • Y opened YMCA La Quinta Preschool.

1994

  • Merger with Girls, Inc., in Indio. Boards of Directors merged, creating a more diverse and active Board to expand Y services.

1995

  • Doris Mechanick Preschool state contract acquired; preschool opened.

1996

  • Gymnastics Center opened on Berkey Drive in Bermuda Dunes.
  • Rancho Mirage Child Development Center opened at Rancho Mirage Elementary site.

1997

  • Jean Benson Preschool opened (February).
  • Indio Youth Center (formerly Girls, Inc) went through extensive remodel and reopened in September.

1999

  • Y opens Child Care Center at Carter Elementary in Palm Desert.
  • La Quinta Preschool and Jean Benson Preschool state contracts acquired.
  • Gymnastics Center closed in Palm Desert.

2001

  • Opened Amelia Earhart Elementary in Indio (October).

2002

  • Y Board of Directors and community leaders created a comprehensive Strategic Plan for future Y services and facilities.

2003

  • Adopted Strategic Plan- formed new board teams.

2004

  • Acquired the former Palm Springs Youth Center; re-opened as the Palm Springs Y.
  • Opened Lincoln Elementary in partnership with the City of Palm Desert.

2005

  • Y holds first annual “Charity Golf Tournament” (May).
  • Opened Col Mitchell Paige Middle (September).
  • Opened Adams Elementary (December).
  • Opened Ben Franklin Elementary (December).

2006

  • Became partners with Desert Sands Unified and Palm Springs Unified School Districts in providing the state funded “After School Education and Safety” program (ASES).
  • Began outreach and fundraising for capital campaign (May).
  • Opened Carrillo Ranch Elementary (September).
  • Opened Ronald Reagan Elementary (September).

2007

  • Contracted with the City of La Quinta to operate Y swim programs at Fritz Burns Pool.
  • Family YMCA of the Desert celebrates 25th Anniversary (October).
  • Launched partnership with Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) to provide after school programs at four low-income family housing communities:
  • Coyote Run in Palm Springs (April), Arroyo de Paz in Desert Hot Springs (August), Fuente de Paz in Coachella (November), and Desert Gardens in Indio (October).

2008

  • Free swim program (April).
  • Y Be Fit program began in Desert Hot Springs (September).
  • Opened Vista Dunes in La Quinta (Hope Through Housing) after school program (October).

2009

  • Free swim program (April).
  • Y Be Fit program renewed for another year in Desert Hot Springs.
  • Opened CVHC sites Paseo de los Heroes I in Mecca (September) and Las Casas in Coachella (September).

2010

  • Opened CVHC site at Wolff Waters in La Quinta (March).
  • Shoes That Fit program in Desert Hot Springs (May).
  • Opened CVHC site at Paseo de Los Heroes 2 in Mecca (August).
  • Acquired additional PSUSD ASES sites; the YMCA becomes the official ASES program provider for 20 schools (16 elementary / 4 middle) in the district (September).

2011

  • Family YMCA selected by City of Palm Desert to operate $7.5 million Palm Desert Aquatics Center, under construction (February).

2012

  • Special Guest appearance of Olympic Swimmer Janet Evans; Hoedown at Sundown, 2012
  • Acquired additional PSUSD ASES site at Painted Hills Middle School (August).
  • Opened CVHC sites at Rosa Gardens in Palm Springs (August) and Brisas de la Paz in Desert Hot Springs (November).

2013

  • Sustaining Campaign Honorary Chair, Janet Evans, former Olympiad.
  • Swim to Win – Largest one day Swim Safety Day ever held in valley – featuring 6 Olympian Swimmers and over 2000 people in attendance.

2014

  • Sustaining Campaign Chair, Carl Karcher of CLK Enterprises (2013, 2014).
  • Just Add Swim (formerly Swim to Win) – Largest one day Swim Safety Day ever held in valley featuring Olympic Swimmers; over 2000 people in attendance.
  • Record breaking attendance at our Summer Day-Camps and Resident-Camps.
  • Inaugural year for Y-Be-Fit-Palm-Desert-Challenge: Reverse-Mini-Triathlon, 5K Run/Walk, 1K Color Run/Walk.

2015

  • Successful Annual Campaign exceeded goal by $100,000.
  • New CVHC sites at Rosa Gardens (Palm Springs) and Brisas de la Paz (Desert Hot Springs).