The Ottawa YMCA strengthens the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. It has served our community since 1952. The Y was founded to improve health and

quality of life by providing programs for children and families of all backgrounds. Everyone is welcome at the

Y. We believe that positive, lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work

together to invest in our kids, our health, and our neighbors.


The Y’s vision is creating a new Healthy Living Campus that will transform the health and well-being of the

community. The plan includes an approximate 65,000 square foot full-service facility with modern

amenities at an estimated cost of $20 million.


This state of the art facility will include; a natatorium with both a competition pool and warm water therapy pool, group exercise studios, kids’ adventure center, child watch areas, family locker rooms, and multi-generational spaces for seniors and teens. It will boast a community “living room” concept for socialization and gathering places, a multi-use gymnasium with an integrated health and a wellness center for exercise and prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and long-term healthy living options.

In addition, it will house a community kitchen for healthy eating and designated clinical space for the YMCA’s health care partner OSF.


Cora J.Pope spent her life helping others and opening her home up to those in need. A generous gift of $500,000 from the Cora J. Pope Trust, a ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will offer a great and lasting impact in Ottawa in its partnership with the YMCA.

This beautiful and lasting legacy for Cora J. Pope and her mission in Ottawa will be housed in the

stunning new YMCA built on the north side of the Illinois River, immediately opposite Cora’s house.

This will be a visible reminder to Ottawa residents of the presence of the Presbyterian Church’s mission to

care and provide for seniors in need of resources and a meaningful way to help and support overall

wellness for Ottawa area seniors in the name of Cora J. Pope.


The new YMCA would become a point of significant exposure to raise awareness of the Cora J. Pope Trust

grants available of up to $2500 each to seniors 55 years or older, enabling them to improve or upgrade their current living space so they might continue to dwell in their homes with comfort and dignity. For more information on these opportunities visit


Today’s announcement builds on the Y’s pioneering work to enhance the lives of area seniors with the aim

of making the Ottawa YMCA the center of Ottawa’s senior community.

May 27th, 2021