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Saskatoon YMCA marks 50 years at downtown location

The YMCA on 22nd St. in downtown Saskatoon opened 50 years ago on Sept. 6, 1969. Devon Latchuk / Global News

The YMCA in downtown Saskatoon is marking a major milestone.

The location on 22nd Street opened its doors 50 years ago – Sept. 6, 1969.

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The organization itself goes back more than a century in Saskatoon. The previous building on Spadina Crescent was knocked down in the 1970s.

“We’ve gone through so many changes,” Saskatoon YMCA CEO Dean Dodge said on Friday.

“For a lot of people the YMCA 50 years ago was a young men’s Christian association – now we’re the Y, so people of all kinds come.”

Dodge said it’s great to see how the YMCA has adapted over the years to meet community needs.

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“Every Y you go to around the world is slightly different,” he said.  “We are such a family-centred group – we focus on childcare, overall wellness.”

Dodge grew up with the YMCA – starting in 1976 as a camper then taking swimming lessons.

“My own family has been involved in the Y,” he explained. “From my grandma to my mom and dad.”

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He’s been at the helm of the Saskatoon YMCA for the past six years.

“It’s truly family for me,” he said.

Around the world the YMCA serves millions of people in more than 100 countries.

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