Princeton Family YMCA: A welcoming place for area residents


In 1908, Princeton University professor Walter Mead Rankin founded the YMCA Town Club located in Princeton. Over the past 110 years, the Princeton Family YMCA has been a constant in the lives of Princeton residents. Through decades of social change and economic ups and downs, the YMCA has steadfastly provided a welcoming place for fellowship, enrichment and personal development.


With our Judeo-Christian heritage guiding us, we build healthy spirits, minds and bodies by supporting youth development; promoting wellness and healthy living while helping fight chronic illnesses; providing services to those who need assistance affording them; and embracing the Princeton community’s diversity by offering a positive, welcoming center.


In 2015, we launched the exciting and ambitious REFRESH Capital Campaign to complete building improvements, address maintenance on mechanical systems to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact, and increase our mission’s effectiveness by allowing us to expand our current programs. Our goal is to complete the fundraising this summer, which will support upgrades and improvements at the YMCA beginning in fall 2018.


The Princeton Family YMCA uses programs to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities, while also reinforcing the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Our programming includes: Adaptive Programs, Aquatics Programs, Before & After School Programs, Family Programs, Health & Wellness Programs, Princeton Young Achievers & Early Birds, Sports Programs, Summer Camp, and Teen Programs. Learn more on our website,


We’re building on our recent successes to bring our Y into the 21st century. Since the start of our REFRESH campaign in 2015, the Y has:

  • Achieved operating surpluses three years in a row;
  • Increased membership by 40 percent;
  • Provided approximately $1 million in financial assistance and subsidized programs (an average of $500,000 each year);
  • Established and increased endowment funds; and
  • Created the Fitzpatrick Wellness Center.

As part of Phase I of our REFRESH campaign, we also completed a series of capital projects, including:

  • Updated and opened a full court gymnasium;
  • Renovated what is now the Tracy and Scott Sipprelle Lobby;
  • Renovated our bathrooms, lobby and reception areas, along with “child watch,” the women’s locker rooms and new administrative work space;
  • Purchased new equipment and furniture for several refreshed spaces.


There are many ways to make a difference to the Y with a charitable gift. Our website details the different ways to give general support, legacy gifts and gifts of securities. We also host annual events like the Centennial Gala and the YMCA 5K/10K & 1 Mile Fun Run.


We are deeply grateful to our engaged board members and donors who have supported the REFRESH campaign. We currently have 100 percent board participation, and a small group of generous donors led by Tracy and Scott Sipprelle pledged a challenge gift of $400,000. Tenacre Foundation, Bank of Princeton and Investors Bank have also joined the campaign with generous contributions.


Our board chair, Princeton resident Merilyn Rovira, says: “The Y plays a key role in connecting residents from all walks of life, and provides a setting in which everyone can benefit, as well as contribute something. I welcome community residents to visit the Y to see the changes we’ve already made and join us in transforming our Princeton Family YMCA for our neighbors today and for future generations.”

Conversation Starter

Visit the Y for “Coffee with Kate!”: or 609-497-9622, ext. 227.

In brief

What: Princeton Family YMCA
Where: 59 Paul Robeson Place, Princeton
Serving: Our service area includes Princeton, Princeton Junction, Montgomery Township, Lawrence Township, Rocky Hill, Kingston, West Windsor and Plainsboro. Our members also reside in Kendall Park and East Brunswick.
Key leaders: Kate Bech, CEO; Denise Soto, senior director of development and communications