YMCA Changes Name to Reflect Regional Impact

June 20, 2017

On July 15, 2017 the YMCA of Roanoke Valley will change its official name to YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge to better reflect its service area.  For 134 years the YMCA of Roanoke Valley has been serving the Roanoke area supporting kids, teens and families with a focus on building community. The YMCA is proud of its Roanoke heritage and of all the good it has done in the community, but over the years, the YMCA has grown in order to serve surrounding communities and meet new needs.

In late-80’s the YMCA Family Center and the Central YMCA merged to become the YMCA of Roanoke Valley. Almost a decade later the Salem Family YMCA became part of the YMCA of Roanoke Valley to further meet community needs. In July of 2016 the non-profit grew again when the Rockbridge Area YMCA merged with the YMCA of Roanoke Valley. In September of this year the Y will break ground on a new facility in Botetourt County that will continue its tradition of growth and service in the region. 

While the YMCA has been growing and increasing its reach in our region, the Roanoke Valley has been doing the same. The Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau started a visioning process to begin to understand what visitors see as the area’s greatest assets to translate those into a highly recognizable brand for the region. Inspired by the area’s scenic beauty and natural charm, the Roanoke Valley’s new identity became Virginia’s Blue Ridge. 

“As the YMCA has become more of a regional organization over recent years, we realized it was time to recognize the true reach of our programs, partnerships and services by changing our name,” said Mark Johnson, President and CEO of YMCA of Roanoke Valley.

“Individual branch names will still be used to identify services, programs and locations for each community. We are just operating under a new name serving new communities with a mission that has impacted families since 1883,” said Johnson.

Currently, the YMCA of Roanoke Valley has 550 employees, 18 after school sites and serves over 17,000 members. The YMCA’s community outreach programs teaches Y Splash to 2nd graders in 34 area schools, feeds over 40,000 meals and snacks through subsidized feeding programs and provides financial assistance to youth, families and seniors for programs they need.