Cary, NC – For almost 25 years, the Cary YMCA has been known to locals as just that: the Cary YMCA. But now the center has changed its name to reflect the family that influences its current child programs.
Taylor Family YMCA
Cary’s YMCA is now known as the Taylor Family YMCA and the Cary branch’s Executive Director John Collins said the decision was made with the YMCA board and a long-time volunteer and donor.
“The catalyst for the change now was a donor who wanted to honor those who have helped build the YMCA to what it now is,” Collins said. “And through conversations with the donor, they decided on the Taylor family.”
The Taylor family, Wyatt and Lil, started something unique with the YMCA, creating residence camps for children in the 1940s. With Wyatt Taylor as the Secretary General of the Raleigh YMCA at the time, he started Camp Sea Gull by the Neuse River, when these kinds of camps for children were not common.
But what really set them apart was in 1961 when they started Camp Seafarer for girls, with Lil Taylor serving as director.
“It took a lot of change and a lot of vision,” Collins said. “It was not the most booming time to hold girls’ camps.”
Impact on Today’s Y
And with the name change, Collins said people should not expect anything to change at their local YMCA as a result.
“It’s a way to honor someone significant in our community,” Collins said. “We’re not changing our services. In fact, it’s a reaffirmation.”
Even before the name change, the Taylor Family YMCA had the most youth programming of any YMCA in North Carolina and has some of the most in the entire country.
“That spark from the early camps relates to the youth residence camps we have now. It runs deep and runs back to Wyatt and Lil Taylor.” Collins said. “It’s appropriate that one of the most youth-focused Ys is named after them.”
Collins also said the new Northwest Cary YMCA is likely opening in early-to-mid June.
The Taylor Family YMCA is located at 101 YMCA Dr.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of the Taylor Family YMCA.