Saint John couple wants the YMCA to have a strong future

The YMCA has been a part of Brice and Cathy Belyea’s life since childhood. What started as a place where he learned to swim and she attended camp has turned into their second home.

“I grew up in the south end and it was somewhat of a rough neighbourhood,” Brice explained on a bright spring morning before his workout at the Saint John Regional Y.

“I credit the Y with positively impacting my life. A few of us got involved at the Y instead of running the streets. A lot of our friends didn’t have the same life outcome as we did and although there are a number of factors, certainly one of them is that we had a real good influence at the Y.”

Cathy spent eight summers tenting on the beach at Camp Glenburn, the YMCA’s overnight camp.

“There were about five or six girls in a tent and it was always a lot of fun,” she said.

Many years later, Cathy reflects on the leadership skills and memories she gained on the Bellisle Bay. Still keeping in touch with the friends she made at camp, Cathy is excited for their 10-year-old grandson to experience Glenburn for the first time this summer. 

Growing up at the Y, Brice later became Past President of the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Saint John and was one of the founding members of the Endowment Board.

The Belyea’s have been with the Y during difficult times, but they always knew that the community needed a place where kids, families and adults could reach their full potential.

“I think the major thing that prompts us to want to be involved and stay involved is the fact that the Y is so much more than a building,” Brice explained.  

“Within the last 10 or 15 years, the Y has really increased its presence in the community. It plays a really important role in things like early childhood education, physical and mental wellness and settlement services. We want to ensure we are doing whatever we can so the Y’s work continues in the years ahead.”

Brice and Cathy both agree that it’s the calibre of people who make the Y and that is why they give. They also encourage their fellow Y members to join the YMCA Heritage Club by making a gift that will have a lasting impact on their community.

“We enjoy being here, this place is kind of like home,” they said. “The community needs the YMCA.”