Evanston’s McGaw YMCA Turns 125

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the McGaw YMCA, and the festivities kicked off with over 400 guests in attendance on January 23 and nearly $100,000 raised.

It was also the perfect venue to preview “The YMCA in Evanston: 125 Years Strong”, produced by the McGaw YMCA and filmmaker Susan Hope Engel, with an original score by local Emmy-winning composer Steve Rashid.

Intercutting personal interviews and photos from the Y archives, the film beautifully captures the memories of Y members young and old, black and white, male and female. It highlights the many different elements of the Y experience, including Brillianteen, Camp Echo, Indian Guides/Princesses, Project SOAR, the Men’s Residence program, and the Emerson Street Y Branch. It evoked strong emotions at its premiere, winning a standing ovation from the assembled guests.

Celebrate this venerable, long-standing North Shore institution and check out this incredible short film. To view the 125th Anniversary Video, visit: