The Rancho Family YMCA serves more than 15,000 youths and families in the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Sabre Springs, Scripps Ranch, Torrey Highlands, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Black Mountain Ranch, 4S Ranch, Del Sur, Santaluz, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, and Mira Mesa.

Ten years ago, Rancho Family YMCA opened its main facility at 9410 Fairgrove lane in Rancho Penasquitos. To celebrate, the Y plans a “10th Birthday Celebration” on Aug. 28 with a Family Scavenger & Treasure Hunt from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, and a free Community Carnival Celebration from 12 noon to 3 p.m. (more information is available at

In advance of the 10-year anniversary, Executive Director Cindi Phallen answered questions from 92129 Magazine about the history of the local YMCA – and some of the plans for the future.


Q & A with the YMCA


Question: How was the decision made to form the Rancho Family YMCA? What is the relationship with other YMCAs in San Diego County?
Phallen: We are part of the YMCA of San Diego County – an association of 16 YMCAs; we are locally operated with decisions being made by Board of Management.
In the late 1980s the community asked the YMCA if we would be interested in operating a pool – and after many collaborative meetings, it was agreed the city would contribute $2.1 million to build the aquatic part of a facility, and the YMCA would raise the remaining funds to build a full facility. The first two phases are now complete.

Question: What is your background and how long have you been involved in the YMCA?
Phallen: I have a college degree in education, and I have worked for the YMCA movement for over 25 years.

Question: What is the staffing size at the Rancho Family YMCA facilities?
Phallen: 16 full time employees, and 125 part-time employees

Question: What are the most popular programs at the Rancho Family YMCA?
Phallen: Gymnastics, swimming lessons, sports leagues, Adventure Guides, adult fitness classes and Wellness Center, and summer day camp

Question: What are the age groups served by the Rancho Family YMCA?
Phallen: We serve all age groups, from eight weeks old to seniors. The entire family is welcome at the Y.

Question: What is the YMCA’s philosophy, in terms of meeting the needs of the community and its young people?
Phallen: The YMCA is dedicated to improving the quality of life in our community, and to helping all people realize their fullest potential through the development of spirit, mind and body. We use our youth programs to incorporate the values of caring, respect, responsibility, and honesty.

Question:  How is the YMCA funded? Is there a specific significant fundraising even or activity?
Phallen: About 90 percent of our revenue is generated through fee for service; about 8 percent is from fundraising (through the annual fundraising campaign and the annual golf tournament). Some also comes from grants.

Question: What are the YMCA’s future plans in terms of expansion of facilities or services?
Phallen: Phase III in PQ is to build a second floor on the existing facility and add a child care center. We are also planning to build a new YMCA facility on Scripps Poway Parkway.

Rancho Family YMCA Values

Mission Statement:  The Rancho Family YMCA is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people to realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of Spirit, Mind and Body.

YMCA Character Values:  The Character Development Project challenges YMCA staff and volunteers to commit to making this organization the leader in Character Development.  It challenges s our YMCA to advocate the teaching of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility in our community.  It challenges our staff and volunteers to live their lives and manage our branch operations based on these principles and to teach these values to the next generation of community leaders.

Rancho Family YMCA History Timeline

1985:  Rancho Family YMCA was formed, the result of the second strategic planning process of the YMCA of San Diego County.  This effort was designed to meet the needs for a YMCA in North County, along the I-15 corridor.

1992:  Official formation of Rancho Family YMCA.

1995:  The new Rancho Family YMCA had its grand opening for the building now known as the Program Center.

2000:  Rancho Family YMCA opened its main facility at 9410 Fairgrove Lane, with a full workout center (know as the Wellness Center), an interactive outdoor swimming pool, an indoor main pool, and a multi-purpose room commonly used for fitness classes.

2007:  Groundbreaking held for a new four-acre site on Scripps Poway Parkway, now home to youth sports classes and leagues and other events and activities.