The Benjamin Harrison YMCA raises funds to support Veteran and Active Duty Military programs and memberships

The Benjamin Harrison YMCA has a long history with the men and women serving our country. Through partnerships, discounts, programming, memberships and support, we are continuing to write that story.

A Little History

The Benjamin Harrison YMCA is located in Lawrence, Indiana, on land formerly known as Fort Benjamin Harrison. The Fort was opened in 1906 by United States President Theodore Roosevelt, honoring former President Harrison (1889-1893), who hailed from Indianapolis. The YMCA was the first non-military organization to open its doors when the Fort shut down in 1997.  It formerly served as a military athletic facility, where the Army trained physical fitness instructors. When the Athlete Village for the 1987 Pan American Games was built inside Fort Harrison, the now-YMCA pool was used for practice by the competing swimmers.

Bringing the Community Together

Since 1997, the Benjamin Harrison YMCA has thrived in the Lawrence community bringing together community members for youth sports, swim lessons, work outs, socials, family events and so much more! A partnership with the new Veteran Affairs Domiciliary, a program that offers assistance to homeless veterans, paired with generous donations has allowed us to open our doors to residents of the VA Dom at no charge.

Showing Appreciation

Wanting to honor the men and women that serve and have served our country, the Breakfast for the Brave was created in 2015. It was our way of showing our appreciation for those that let us become like their second home. The 2019 event will be held on Friday, Nov. 8 from 9:30 – 11 a.m. Veterans, Active-Duty and Reservists are welcome to join us with their families for musical entertainment, a small program and breakfast provided by Art’s Skillet. Please register in advance. Thanks to the generous donations throughout the year, we are able to provide such an event for free.

In addition to the Breakfast for the Brave, the Benjamin Harrison YMCA shows support for Veterans and Active Duty Military Members by focusing Annual Campaign funds on items like Veteran membership and program discounts, free admission for Active Duty families to special events and discounts on programming, and creating veteran-focused programming and classes. Nearly $200,000 goes towards such support in the Lawrence community alone. If you would like to join in supporting our service men and women, you may do so by donating to the YMCA Annual Campaign.

Run to Support

In 2018, The Freedom 5K was born. This event combines fitness with our love for Veterans and Active Duty Military with the proceeds supporting programming for the demographic. At its second year, the Freedom 5K gained support from the City of Lawrence, BitLoft, Geist Half Marathon, Hoosier Academy at Indianapolis, Blue Ribbon Transport, Caito Foods, and Community Health Network. Over 300 community members supported the Freedom 5K through running, walking or virtual entry. Save the date for Friday, July 3, 2020! Keep up to date on our event page.

YMCA shows support for Veterans and Active Duty Military Members in many different ways. To find out more, please visit our website.

Army Recruiters enjoy the 2018 Breakfast for the Brave.

Army Recruiters enjoy the 2018 Breakfast for the Brave.

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