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90 Years of YWCA Work

November 2, 2011, 9:58 PM by Kelly Bartnick

90 Years of YWCA Work
SIOUX FALLS, SD - In an era when ambitions are placed on the future, it's not often we pause to look back. But only a short list of places can say they've provided a helping hand as long as the YWCA.

"When the YWCA incorporated in 1921 in this community women were just getting the right to vote," said YWCA CEO Laurie Knutson. 

Ninety years ago that right was one of the few women were allotted. Then the YWCA was a safehaven, a shelter, a day care, and even summer camp. Laurie Knutson still oversees some of those same programs.

"The YWCA was one of the very first organizations where women could get involved and demonstrate their leadership abilities. There really weren't opportunities for women to do that other than the church," Knutson said. 

"My husband, Scott Reardon, grew up learning how to swim at the old YWCA and our children went there," Margaret Reardon, who supports the facility, said. 

Reardon donated to the southside YWCA building, which today houses children's programs and daycare facilities. 

"We're committed to looking at what the needs are in our community and to find ways that are appropriate for our organization to respond to that," Knutson said. 

"I'm really proud of all these people that have given and the people that have run it from the top down," Reardon said.

New programs and maybe even new YWCA facilities will help address the community's future needs. But the one constant will be a presence that should last beyond the next 90 years.

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