Standing tall after 125 years

March 13, 2011

(excerpt)

“Wear black and white and a touch of persimmon,” urges the flyer for the YWCA Central Massachusetts 125th Anniversary Gala at Mechanics Hall. The perfect wardrobe combination for an agency with a mission to eliminate racism, elevate women, and — like the perennial persimmon tree — gives more year after year.

An agency for women that started in 1885 — and hired a “physical culture instructor” a year later to teach the “art of standing, walking and sitting” — the YWCA has maintained long-term staying power while ramping up child care, fitness and crisis services in response to changing societal needs.

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