The Joplin Family Y celebrates 130 years of operation

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JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin health and fitness organization is celebrating a mega milestone.

What is now known as The Joplin Family Y opened its doors on this date 130 year ago.

Members of the Y, the City of Joplin, and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce gathered at the facility near 34th and McIntosh to mark the occasion.

The first location was a place for miners to take a bath and sat near the intersection of 4th and Virginia in downtown.

A second location on South Wall Street, opened in 1928 and closed its doors in 2017. The current location was opened in 1999.

Cookie Estrada took over as C.E.O. Of the organization on this day 33 years ago.

He credits the founding fathers with the foresight of opening in Joplin just 20 years after the national organization was founded.

“I don’t know how many people can say that in the community. To me, we’re just blessed that we had people that believed within the organization for it to continue to where it’s at today,” said Cookie Estrada, Joplin Family Y C.E.O.

“I think coming here is part of the reason I’m still here and able to walk on the treadmill and do a few things without a cane, well I just think it’s contributed to my health over the years, and that’s an honest answer,” said Loren Smith, Joined the Y in 1967.

The Y currently has more than 46-hundred members in the Joplin area.

They work closely with area school districts to provide a variety of services, including meals for children.

Over the years, thousands of local kids have also learned to play several sports including football, baseball, basketball, soccer and swimming.

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