Courier Staff Writer
The Ottumwa YMCA will soon mark 125 years, and the organization has planned two celebrations for next month.
Ottumwa YMCA Executive Director Tom Sisler said the entity will “proudly celebrate 125 years of programs and dedicated service to the community of Ottumwa and the surrounding service area.”
In honor of the historic celebration, the YMCA will commit its programs, facility and property to “becoming an International Peace Site” within Ottumwa, according to Sisler.
Two activities will have center stage, according to Sisler.
“One is a special celebration of 125 years at the YMCA, which started in 1887 and now it’s 2012,” he said. “The YM came to Ottumwa as part of or one of the ‘railroad YMCAs,’ which were built along the rail line.”
Sisler said the YM celebration will include dedicating the building and property as an “International Peace site.”
“That means we will dedicate the building and property as an international site,” he said. “This is a statement that the YMCA believes in and promotes peace, which can mean anything to many people.”
Families, communities and countries all around the world will be part of the Wednesday celebration. Sisler said the YMCA will put the pole in one of the flower gardens on the YM’s property.
“There are more than 200,000 poles registered in over 150 countries,” Sisler said.
Also, a second celebration will include a Walk for Peace/5K Run on Dec. 9, and community members can walk at no charge. Sisler said he hopes participants will bring a can of food or two to help local food pantries.
Ottumwa YMCA celebration Dec. 5
The Ottumwa YMCA celebration is set for 3:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 611 N. Hancock St. RSVP by calling 641-684-6571.
Meanwhile, the public is invited to “come out and walk for peace” at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the YMCA.