In 1992, a group of concerned citizens from Cabool and Mountain Grove began to explore the possibility of a YMCA to serve both communities and the surrounding area. They began a fundraising campaign to hire a trained YMCA Certified Director. By September 15, 1993 the newly formed YMCA purchased equipment from the Fitness Headquarters in Mountain Grove and changed the name to YMCA. At the same time the Cabool office was opened in the Bauch House. In October 1993 the Twin Cities Family YMCA, Inc. was officially chartered as a YMCA in good standing, after meeting all the requirements of the National YMCA.
The Twin Cities YMCA continued to grow with a workout room at the Cabool High School and management of the Municipal Pools including swimming programs. Besides swimming and water aerobics, the programs grew to include Youth Soccer, Youth Basketball, Girls Softball, Volleyball, Sand Volleyball, 5K Runs and 1 Mile Walks, Aerobics, and many others. New Programs and activities continued to be added each season.
In December of 1994, the first Partners with Youth and Sustaining Campaign was held with great success. Originally, one Executive Director and one Program Director staffed the Twin Cities YMCA. A part-time Program Director was added in the spring of 1995. Brian Mitchell was hired to serve as CEO of the Twin Cities YMCA.
In the summer of 1996, the Twin Cities YMCA was approached by the City of Willow Springs to join the association. After successfully completing their Founder's Campaign of $100,000, Willow Springs was invited to join the Twin Cities YMCA association and the name was changed to the Ozarks Family YMCA. The Willow Springs branch opened in April of 1997 in the School Gym. After feasibility studies were done in the communities of Hartville and Seymour, Founder's Campaigns were successfully completed and facilities opened in both of those communities. Hartville opened a storefront facility in November 1999. Seymour opened a storefront facility in September of 2001 and moved into a new 18,000 square foot full facility in February of 2002.
In April of 1999, a committee was formed to explore the possibility of collaborating with the Kabul Nursing Home to house the local branch YMCA in the new Senior Citizens Center to be built in Cabool. After plans for collaborating on a new facility with the Kabul Nursing Home were tabled until the YMCA was in a stronger financial position to pursue financing options, a feasibility study was conducted in Cabool in October 2000 to begin a Capital Campaign for a new facility in that community. In April of 2002, a 5000 square foot facility was donated to the Cabool branch rent-free. After remodeling with funds and labor donated from the Cabool community, the new facility opened for operations in June of 2002.
In April 2002 the Hartville Branch was closed due to the financial condition of the Ozarks Family YMCA. The community of Hartville purchased the facility's equipment from the YMCA and reorganized as a Community Center under the umbrella of Community Betterment. The facility reopened its doors to the public in August of that year.
At the end of the 2003 fiscal year, the organization had stabilized both financially and in membership. Programming had expanded with an emphasis on fitness, and Youth Sports programs had been enhanced with uniforms and participation with area communities.
Brian Mitchell resigned as CEO in February 2002 to take the CEO position of the Burlington, Iowa YMCA. All outstanding debt was consolidated into a single loan from Seymour Bank in March 2002. A search committee was formed to seek a new CEO. Derwin McGownd was named as interim CEO. Talbird Lovan was hired as part-time CEO effective May 1, 2002, and assumed the position full-time in August.
After Talbird left the Ozarks Family YMCA, Larry Long was hired as the new CEO in August 2008. In November 2010, Larry left the Ozarks Family YMCA, and the Board of Directors entered into a temporary management agreement with Brad Toft, CEO of Ozarks Regional YMCA. In September 2012, Derek Chambers was promoted from Seymour Branch Director to CEO. In February 2018, Derek Chambers left his position with Ozarks Family YMCA as CEO.
Currently, Ozarks Family YMCA operates in Cabool, Mountain Grove, Willow Springs, and Seymour. We offer many different types of youth and adult sports programs, manage the Mountain Grove City Pool, and sell concessions at the Cabool City Pool. Ozarks Family YMCA added an indoor pool to the facility at Seymour, as well.