In 1883, the Youngstown YMCA opened as a place farmers moving to the city for work could retreat to. It now boasts three branches: the Central branch in downtown Youngstown, Camp Fitch on Lake Erie, and the D.D. & Velma Davis Family YMCA.
Though the Y is a place where members can go to exercise, participate in sports leagues, and swim, it's also more than that; it's a place that strives to teach good values to community members. It stresses the importance of such principles as respect, teamwork, and sportsmanship, and it's dedicated to helping the area out through community-service efforts.
At Boardman Lanes, bowling balls thunder down 24 gleaming, waxed lanes. Automatic pin setters and scoring computers allow customers to focus on their games, with little downtime between throws. On Friday and Saturday nights, black lights cast an otherworldly glow during cosmic bowling. The facility also features video games to provide breaks from bowling action and a snack bar to keep players fueled throughout the day.
Four-year-olds scamper across ATA Black Belt Academy's padded floors, dressed in white robes and kicking with all the strength in their little legs. Instructors lead students of all ages through three separate classes divided by age. Students 4–6 develop coordination and motor skills in the Tiny Tigers program, before graduating into the Karate for Kids classes for ages 7–12. Adults and teens train together in the tae kwon do classes.