HISTORY OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF Y’S MEN
With the success of Rotary and Lions Clubs in providing a Service Organization that recruited young professionals within a City, the YMCA wanted to be a part of that success. A young professional had a list of Booster Members (people that donated $100 or more to the YMCA) and decided to enlist their help in starting a service club of some kind. So, in late October, 1920, 12 men gathered to form a club. They named their club “TOLYMCA” for Toledo YMCA. The club grew and more people wanted to join. By 1922, the Club had over 73 members eager to provide services and funds for the Toledo YMCA. The Ohio General Secretary heard of this success and invited members to speak of their success to other YMCAs in Ohio. The name of the club was changed from TOLYMCA to Y’s Men (the name used during and after the First World War referring to the people who volunteered and worked in the YMCA tents in France).
The name International Association of Y’s Men was adopted at the November 1922 Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. There were 17 clubs at the time but with articles in the YMCA magazine called “Association Men”, the Association grew beyond Canada and the United States to include Shanghai in 1924.
With more than 70 Countries and 1,500 clubs, Y’s Men (Y Service Clubs) remain strong and supportive to their Community, YMCA, and Globally.