History

The YMCA has always stood for something more than simply fitness. Discover the rich history of the YMCA of Rapid City; find out about their humble beginnings and what it took to grow into what the YMCA is today!

The YMCA of Rapid City has a rich history extending back almost 70 years. The YMCA started because there was a vision and a desire within the community to provide programs and services to meet the physical, social, mental and spiritual needs of the people of Rapid City. In the 1940's a youth center called "The Cactus Patch" was established downtown. Later, it was relocated in the Duhamel building, but eventually had some difficulties. However, Don Knecht then took over The Cactus Patch as he spearheaded an effort to organize the YMCA of Rapid City. 

One of the most notable changes took place in the 1950's when the YWCA and the YMCA merged. The YWCA originally owned the "White House" on Kansas City and Ninth Streets, which is now where the current YMCA building stands. Through generous donations made by members of the community, the YMCA facility has expanded to four different projects. These projects include the Brian Vucurevich Child Development Center, the Randy Travis Wellness Center, the Rapid City Gym, the Y House, the Y LaCroix Links Golf Course, the Aquatic Center, which includes a leisure warm water pool, an eight-lane lap pool, a family locker room, remodeled women's locker room and a rooftop playground.  The YMCA of Rapid City is indebted to the vision of its founders and the support of thousands of people who contributed to make the Y what it is today. 

Welcome to the YMCA family! This is our story and now we'd like to learn more about you! We hope to see you get involved through special events and other volunteer opportunities here at the Y.