In 1963 a group of Prattville citizens got together and planned to start a YMCA in Prattville. They asked the Montgomery YMCA and William Chandler (CEO) for help and guidance. A board was soon formed and met with many groups to talk about this new idea.
Ray Marshall, president of the Citizens Bank, was elected chairman of the board and soon people were promoting YMCA membership for $20.00 a year for a family membership. A budget of $15,000 was approved. Willis Bradford a YMCA program director from the Atlanta YMCA was hired as its first executive director, a position he held until October 31, 2012. He and the board began the exciting and rewarding trip of putting life into a dream.
Many thought Prattville too small to sustain a YMCA, but they were proved wrong. The Prattville YMCA began its operation in the old community center/library building in downtown Pratt Park with only two offices and some used equipment.
There were no facilities, but programs were offered all over town, anywhere some space or a building could be used. Basketball was practiced on outdoor courts, football and cheerleading were on school playgrounds, and swimming lessons were held in the old city pool that had no filtration system, and filled by an artesian well. Adult classes were held in banks, homes, and schools.
In 1965 Mrs. Louise M. Smith, through two of her children Diane S. Wendland and Don M. Smith, approached the YMCA board with an offer to help financially with the building of a YMCA facility in Prattville. An offer of $150,000 was used as matching funds. Over $365,000 was raised and the first YMCA facility was constructed on a 10 acre site.
The first Board of Managers of the Prattville YMCA was: G.Ray Marshall, J. Harvey Clark, Oudia Lawrence, Rev. John Neville, Ed Gray, Lib Walthall, T.O. McDowell, Dorsey Wingard, Horace Powell, Mona Till, James Crosby, John Hargis, B.V. Ray, Jerry Sims, Paul Cox, Jim Striplin, Dr. Mag Northington, Dr. Fred Stanley, A.K. Buddy Cooper, and Ed Riddle.
In 1969, a second pool was added and in 1972 the Rotary Amphitheater was a new addition. Tennis courts were added in 1974 and a gymnastics gym was constructed in 1976. In 1979, 19 acres of land was donated to the YMCA located on McQueen Smith Road, this would some 21 years later be the location of the new Willis Bradford Branch. In 1983 the YMCA received a gift of 32 acres adjacent to the main building. In 1985 a fitness center was started in the shopping center mall in front of the main building. After the success of the fitness center a capital campaign was completed to construct a new building to house the Fitness Branch and Childcare building along with a major renovation of the Don M. Smith building (main Y). During the next several years athletic fields were constructed, expansion of the Fitness Branch, and a pavilion built at the east site. In 1998 one pool at the Don M. Smith Branch was covered for year round swimming and plans were finalized for a full facility branch at Prattville East. In June 2000 that new facility was completed and opened with two pools, two gymnasiums, an indoor play room, cardiovascular exercise area, and a licensed preschool with four classrooms.
Today the Prattville YMCA is still meeting the needs of the community. The Y now has 9 professional staff, 31 full-time employees, and over 300 part-time employees and we are just beginning.
|David Lewis||General Director|
|Keith Cantrell||Assistant General Director/Development|
|Jennifer P Barrett||Human Resource Director|
|Sherry Moore||Finance Director|
|Kathy Asbury||Membership Coordinator|
|DON M. SMITH BRANCH|
|Jessica Sedgwick||Gymnastics Director/Branding Advocate|
|David Creamer||Aquatics Director|
|Miles Powell||Aquatics Coordinator|
|Anna Stockman||Senior Gymnastics Coordinator|
|Martie Brown||Swim Team Coordinator|
|Kylee Green||Gymnastics Team Coordinator|
|Melody Colvert||Don M. Smith Members Services|
|Cecily Darby||Fitness/Wellness Branch Executive|
|Sarah Kirkpatrick||Wellness Coordinator|
|James Gaymon||YMCA Chaplain|
|Cole Cook||Fitness/Wellness Branch Member Services|
|WILLIS BRADFORD BRANCH|
|Chris Smith||Senior Branch Coordinator|
|Jon Grooms||Sports Director|
|June Dorough||Ability Coordinator|
|Bailey Fulford||Willis Bradford Branch Member Services|
|Sandra Hanna||Preschool Director|
|Patrick Wunschel||Childcare Director|
|Kerry Jones||Senior Childcare Administrator|
|Eric Alford||Hootie Gipson|
|Jeremy Arthur||Randy Grissett|
|Terry Bowen||Donna Jackson|
|Anthony Brock||Louise Jennings|
|Matt Burns||Spencer Knight|
|Jim Byard Jr.||Mike Lamar|
|Janice Clark||Tony McCullough|
|Edward Clinton||Eric Morgan|
|Brett Crawford||Onya Myhand|
|Martha Ellis||Gray Penton|
|Josh Gamble||Trey Rogers|
|Bill Gillespie Jr.||Jerry Starnes|
|Bob Gipson||Patty VanderWal|
|Roscoe Williams||Vice President|
|Robby Anderson||David Lewis||Ed Mullins|
|Willis Bradford||Joe Mathis||David Smith|
|Mike Lamar||David McDowell|
Milton Wendland, Trustee Emeritus
|Robby Anderson||Joe Mathis||Robert Stacy|
|Dean Argo||Roy McAuley||Albert Striplin|
|Willis Bradford||David McDowell||Ted Taylor|
|Johnny Brownell||Tom Miller||Alfred Wadsworth|
|J.N. “Buddy” Buckner||Algie Morgan||George Walthall, Jr.|
|Harvey Clark||Ed Mullins||Richard Williams|
|Louis Colley||Tom Newton||Roscoe Williams|
|Barbara Dennis||Cindy Oliver|
|Steve Golsan||Horace Powell|
|Frank Lamar||David Smith|