Thanks to Two Community Leaders, the Carl Chavis YMCA Finally Finds its Forever Home
[HIGH POINT, NC – January 30, 2020] YMCA of High Point held a special recognition event today to announce major gifts totaling $2.5 million from High Point University and The Congdon Family Foundation. The funding will be used to breathe new life into a historic and beloved Y branch – Carl Chavis Memorial YMCA.
It’s moved five times, still the Chavis Y has remained a trusted pillar in the High Point community since 1943. Today, members can look forward to a permanent and renovated facility thanks to two community game changers.
The major gifts to the Chavis Y project represent long-time support and leadership to the High Point YMCA. The Congdon Family and their company, Old Dominion Freight Line, were instrumental in opening the Grubb YMCA in Archdale and expanding the Hartley YMCA. High Point University President Dr. Nido Qubein has a lifetime history of involvement with the YMCA, from counselor at High Point YMCA Camp Cheerio to leadership on national Y boards. Qubein was the co-chair of the Chavis YMCA’s capital campaign in 1996, and as President of High Point University, led the institution to build a splash pad at the branch in 2016. In 2019, Qubein was inducted into the YMCA of High Point Hall of Honor in recognition of his service, dedication and support.
“High Point University is grateful for the work of the YMCA of High Point and we are blessed to be able to support their mission and all the people they serve,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, High Point University President, “I’m confident the Chavis Y will grow in strength to uplift the minds, bodies and spirits of individuals young and old.”
Named for the first African American from High Point killed in World War II, the Chavis YMCA has been a connecting point for the community despite having been moved five times in its 75-year history. A leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community, the Y nurtures potential. Believing that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive, the Y offers financial assistance for its programs and services so that everyone can belong. In addition to transformational wellness services, the branch serves more than 130 children per week in summer day camp and nearly 50 children newborn to age five in its 5-star licensed childcare. In 2018, the Y began offering free teen memberships and now engages 90 teens in leadership opportunities, collaborative programming and developmental activities. The branch is also a well-known gathering place for neighborhood groups, local agencies and local churches.
“The Congdon Family contribution to the Carl Chavis Memorial YMCA is an investment in the children and teens being served in this neighborhood,” explains David Congdon, President of the Earl and Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation. “Many families face challenging situations and the Chavis Y reaches out to support families in so many ways, such as day care, teen programs and financial assistance when needed. We are proud to be part of developing youth in the community.”
The Chavis YMCA has been leasing its facility on Granville Street through a partnership with the High Point Housing Authority. In late 2019, the Board of Directors of both the High Point Housing Authority and the YMCA of High Point approved the sale of the facility to the YMCA.
High Point YMCA Chief Executive Officer Lynn Lomax says the partnership between the Y and the High Point Housing Authority has been positive and community-focused. “The Chavis Y has made a significant impact in the local community through our 5-star licensed Day Care Center, teen programs, youth sports leagues, healthy living initiatives and community partnerships,” says Lomax. “We are excited to take the next step in serving the community with updated, state-of-the-art facilities and enhanced programs. The generosity of The Congdon Family and High Point University makes this possible.”
Carlvena Foster, Executive Director of the Carl Chavis Memorial YMCA Branch for twenty years says, “The Chavis Y has been a pillar in the High Point Community for 77 years. I am so very proud of the impact we are able to make in the lives of families we have served and will continue to serve for years to come in an updated facility that we can truly call home.”
The Y will immediately begin developing construction plans for the Chavis Y project with anticipated construction to begin within the next two years. Within the coming years, the High Point YMCA plans to invest significant capital funds in all of its locations including the Grubb and Hartley YMCAs and Camp Cheerio.
About the YMCA of High Point
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of High Point, comprised of the 3 membership locations, Chavis, Grubb and Hartley branches and a resident camp, Camp Cheerio; together engages approximately 25,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Deeply rooted in the community for almost 100 years, the YMCA of High Point has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.hpymca.org