YMCA of Bucks County is a charitable, nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our communities through membership and programs that foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility for all.
In August 2018, Central Bucks Family YMCA and Lower Bucks Family YMCA merged to form YMCA of Bucks County. Upper Bucks YMCA merged with YMCA of Bucks County on January 1 2019, forming one county-wide YMCA under the leadership of Zane Moore, President/CEO. The organization operates member branches in Doylestown, Fairless Hills, Newtown, Quakertown and Warminster, as well as child care centers in Fairless Hills, Morrisville, New Britain, Newtown and Quakertown with an outdoor camp center in Holland. With annual revenue of over $20 million, YMCA of Bucks County employs nearly 2,000 people, serves more than 60,600 members and participants annually, and provides $5 million in charitable community impact each year.
Lower Bucks Family YMCA - now our Fairless Hill branch
Lower Bucks Family YMCA began in 1935 when twelve Bristol High School boys approached faculty member John Burris and expressed a desire to form a purposeful club. Mr. Burris contacted the Pennsylvania State YMCA and requested help to start a local affiliate, initially called the High-Y program and eventually launching a girls group called Tri-Hi-Y. Located in an old firehouse on Mansion Street in Bristol, over 400 students were involved in the organization that incorporated in 1948 as YMCA of Bristol. In 1956 the name was changed to Lower Bucks County YMCA and in 1959 the YMCA broke ground in Fairless Hills to build the first phase of its current facility, which opened in 1960.
Through three branch locations in Fairless Hills, Newtown (Chandler Hall), and Morrisville, an outdoor campsite, and additional program sites the organization has grown into a large, respected provider of critical services for children, families and seniors throughout the southern end of Bucks County.
Central Bucks Family YMCA - now our Doylestown branch
In the mid-1960's, community leaders proposed the establishment of a Y in the Central Bucks community with subsequent locations in a store front on North Main Street and the basement of the old Doylestown Borough High School at Broad and Court Streets. In 1972, when fire destroyed the borough school building, Y programs were held at several local churches and school buildings.
In 1974, Mr. and Mrs. David Burpee deeded the 7-1/2 acre site at Lower State Road and Memorial Drive to the Y. In 1979, the current facility was opened with 1,500 members.
With several expansions of the main building over the years, the organization unveiled their largest expansion to date in 2009 with the addition of a second indoor pool, three new locker rooms, expanded fitness center with dedicated spin room and weight room, two new fitness studios, meeting space, expanded lobby and public meeting space.
In October 2014, Y leadership received the official proclamation from Y-USA (the governing body of all YMCAs in the USA) creating the Warminster Branch of Central Bucks Family YMCA and in January, 2017 opened the facility at 624 York Road in Warminster.
Upper Bucks YMCA - now our Quakertown branch
While articles of incorporation for Upper Bucks YMCA were approved in 1968, the YMCA has played an integral role in the health, wellness, and character of our community since the 1930s with the establishment of Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y Clubs for youth in 1932 and 1943 respectively. Originally residing in the Emmanuel Episcopal Church at 5th and Broad Streets in Quakertown, the Y moved to the former American Legion building in 1970 temporarily while construction began on a site on 14th Street. A pool was added in 1973 and racquetball courts in 1981.
The organization expanded through the purchase of additional properties and sites, first acquiring an indoor sport center complex, a former tennis center on California Road in 1984, and an outdoor recreational complex with pool in Perkasie in 1998.
The current location at 401 Fairview Avenue was purchased in 2007 and renovated to consolidate Y programming under one roof in two phases with wellness, gymnastics and babysitting opening in 2008 and pools opening in 2009. Programming in all other facilities was eventually moved to this location and all other locations were subsequently sold.
Future: 2019 and beyond
Furthering their dedication to residents, YMCA of Bucks County announced its “For a Better Us” campaign in late 2018, a commitment to raise $20 million in needed resources to support both growing requests for financial assistance and free programming and to complete major expansion and renovations on facilities in Doylestown and Fairless Hills. The new facilities will enable the Y to expand impact programs that serve cancer survivors, veterans, those with special needs, and more, as well as better support the health journeys of members and the community.
In 2021, the Y completed its much-anticipated capital project for the Doylestown branch. Space was added and renovated to expand the fitness center and free weight area and add additional program spaces, as well as renovation and addition of universal, private locker rooms which now allow the Y to better meet the needs of its many participant groups.
In Q3 of 2022, the Fairless Hills branch capital project will include reconfigured space within its current footprint to allow for an expanded fitness center, new universal locker rooms, additional program space, community gathering area, and more parking, plus give the building a new, modern look.
As the organization grows, they are proud to expand their offerings of important community impact programs throughout the county including THRIVE cancer wellness program, Back to You substance abuse recovery program, Empower U for teen girls, Healthy Lifestyles aimed at diabetes prevention, and Veterans Wellness giving back to community veterans and their families in addition to free memberships for 7th graders, free swim safety programs for 2nd graders and financial assistance programs for anyone who qualifies.
YMCA of Bucks County is governed by an association-wide board of directors with each of the three regions also governed by an advisory board. One leadership and administration team serves the entire association with each branch being managed by a branch director and operations team.