60 years of the Ransburg YMCA serving Indy's East side

February was a big month at the Ransburg YMCA! We kicked off a year-long celebration of serving the East side for 60 years with an Anniversary Celebration /Annual Campaign kickoff luncheon. Nearly 200 joined to celebrate and reminisce about the Ransburg Y- past and present. Community partners, decades-long members, and current and former staff and board members gathered for our “Ransburg Y family reunion.”

Celebrating big

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

The event was emceed by CBS-4’s Debby Knox, a former Ransburg Y member, and began with an address by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, who shared what impresses him about the Ransburg Y.

“Every neighborhood changes. People come and go, and so do businesses. Neighborhoods experience downturns and upswings. But through it all, these doors have always been open. Ransburg has remained. A place for people to connect, to learn and to grow.”

Christopher Talks Man to Man

Warren Central High School junior Christopher Warner
Warren Central High School junior Christopher Warner

Warren Central High School junior Christopher Warner shared a powerful message of how he began coming to the Ransburg Y when he was 3 years old. The Y is his home away from home.

He said, “Ransburg is a place to grow and make friends with people of all race, color, and creed. The Man to Man program is a prime example of that.  It is for guys my age, and it allows you to come to the Y on the first Saturday of the month after closing and have talks with Coach Kevin and other adult volunteers about what it means to become a man. We can play basketball and Ms. Alice even feeds us. We learn life lessons and things that are not taught in households anymore.”

The Y saves lives

The audience leaned in as he went on, “I have lost so many friends in my 16 years of life, many to gun violence. I know that if they were here the day or night of their death, they would have been 100 percent safe. They would still be alive. Your support helps save more lives on the East side from the same fate as my fallen brothers.”

Working miracles

Twenty-year Ransburg member Bill Walsh, who was once told he’d never walk again, shared his Y story. Through physical therapy and personal training, he now walks with a single cane. He tackled the stairs to the stage like a pro at the luncheon and thanked the personal trainers who adapted workouts to his needs and worked within his limitations and strengths.

Doug Walker, Advisory Board and YMCA of Greater Indianapolis Board Member
Doug Walker, Advisory Board and YMCA of Greater Indianapolis Board Member

Advisory Board and YMCA of Greater Indianapolis Board Member and 58-year Ransburg Y member, Doug Walker, talked about how the Ransburg Y has always been part of his life. He told of how this YMCA is an important anchor on the East side and that it is imperative that it remain for another 60 years.

Sponsors make it happen

The title sponsor for the event was the Family of Joanna and Doug Walker. “Neighbor” sponsors were the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, Victory Sun, Bose Public Affairs Group, Community Hospital East and Indiana Black Expo.

Keep it going

The Ransburg Y is proud of our history on the East side. We want to remain that anchor and beacon of hope for so many. Consider supporting the Ransburg Y through the Annual Campaign.