The Young Men’s Downtown Association (YMDA) is a group of Twin Cities area business and professional people who share a passion for snow skiing and boarding, adventure and friendship.
YMDA begins each winter with the annual early season ski trip to enjoy the sport, renew old acquaintances and make new ones.
A Brief History of the Young Men’s Downtown Association
In the late 1960’s, a small group of visionary Saint Paul Area Adventurers known as the Georgetown Seven were organized. Members of the original group were Bob Donlin, Mike Galvin, Mike Kampmeier, Ed Stringer, Bill Langford, John Holman and Charlie Hauser. The mission of the group was lofty: tame rivers, advise governments, quell uprisings, conquer mountains, and other missions on request.
– With members ranging from twenties to eighties, we are young or young at heart but on day number two we may feel really old.
– With all trip members still being male this remains the truest part of our name.
– This is a reference to the historical membership being mostly men that worked in downtown St. Paul. While some still do, most have probably only visited downtown St. Paul to attend the MN Wild games!
– With one activity and the lion’s share of the work done by one person (Tom Gray), our status as an association might be misleading.
A local business magazine irreverently reported on YMDA as…
“hardly young, has nothing to do with downtown and is barely an association”
However this local magazine did acknowledged its enduring appeal and ability to take networking to a “higher level”.
We call 1968 the year the trip formally began as we count our annual trip numbers. It was in that glorious year of “68” that the trip so to speak broke open past the “Original Georgetown Seven”.
At one point years later we had over 200 skiers on the trip more often than not and 220 on one I remember.. In the 90’s somewhere.
We now head out each December with around 120 skiers dedicated to skiing and networking and a lot of good old fashion fun.
How did YMDA get to be a Non-profit? You may well ask?
Our founders with lawyerly wisdom received a charter from the sovereign state of MN as a non profit corporation. They filed a voluminous application with the Bureau federalis de taxation (IRS) for tax exemption. REJECTED. Ski club is not a charitable, educational or Eleemosynary purpose. Resubmitted. Our purpose is to serve mankind with “Rivers tamed-mountains conquered-Governments advised-Other missions on request”.BINGO.Tax exempt status granted.
The above quote explains that at one point YMDA sought tax exemption and were denied..
So YMDA not to be denied, created a charter to serve mankind and you have a mission we have a team.. We are here to serve..Our mission statement if you please..
Yes we have tamed a few rivers.. and yes many mountains conquered as well as a Government or two advised. A uprising or 2 quelled and let me tell you that is not a easy mission..What? Were not Rambos. 🙂
Skiing is our main mission, however we will from time to time review mission request’s and select the most worthy of them and apply the great minds of YMDA to the task.