Minneapolis, MN - The Marsh, a center for balance and fitness, and the YMCA, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, are exploring ways to expand existing wellbeing capabilities based on their commitment to serve all in our community. The goal is to preserve and extend the historic health and wellness legacy of Marsh founder Ruth Stricker by aligning and integrating her mind and body philosophy into Y programs locally, nationally and globally.

“My mother’s philosophy of the resiliency of the human spirit is more relevant today than ever,” said Kim Griffin. “The Marsh and Y collaborating together is a commitment to her legacy, and offers a clear path forward to ensure that her mission continues to expand with thoughtful leadership. It’s exciting to imagine how her life’s work will integrate into the Y’s greater wellbeing platform with the local community, nation and world.”

Over the years, Ruth was a mentor to Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA. They often discussed how their organizations’ similar missions offered opportunities for mutual collaboration.

“Ruth who supported the Y throughout her lifetime was a guiding hand for me,” said Gunderson. “Her vision informed the Y’s approach to whole life wellbeing. She would challenge me and ask, ‘How does a program find its way beyond a physical place?’”

Gunderson added, “Ruth’s commitment to human connection and resiliency demonstrates how her forward thinking aligns with what is going on in the world today. Ruth said she hoped The Marsh and Y could work together to find innovative ways to strengthen our community wherever they are so no one feels isolated and alone.”

“In February of this year, before the nation realized the magnitude that we were headed into a pandemic, Ruth, again ahead of her time, questioned, ‘How do we build community when we can’t shake hands and hug - human touch is so important,’” said Gunderson.  “Our Y agrees and remains committed to focus on connecting people of all ages so they can learn, grow and thrive together.”

The Marsh and YMCA will provide updates in the coming weeks.

About the YMCA of the North

The YMCA of the North is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 163 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.