We're Turning 5!

On Nov 7, 2016, the bear levin studer YMCA opened its doors

That was five years ago - five years.

If you weren't around before our new Y opened, you might not realize what an undertaking this project was. Yet we were able to accomplish great things, all of us, together.

We're taking a moment at this five-year mark to pause, remember, reflect - and thank all those key individuals who brought this YMCA to life.

Quint & rishy studer

"a strong y helps build and sustain a strong community"

"Rishy and I are so grateful we could be part of building a new Y," said Quint Studer. "We admire the diversity the Y represents - from the young child learning how to swim to seniors keeping healthy.

"We love the fact the great membership at the Y makes it financially solid, which allows the Y programming throughout Northwest Florida. The Y is a major provider of afterschool education. The fact that the Y is a great place to work and also offers employment to adults with special needs is so noteworthy.

"A strong Y helps build and sustain a strong community. This Y was made possible by hundreds of people investing in it. A thank you to the many who made what some thought was impossible, possible."

the bear family

"I really believe in it"

"I cannot tell you how many people that I don't even know come up to me and thank me for being a part of the new Y," Belle Bear said. "When I say my last name, they put it together.

"I love the location. When the Y was first built, it wasn't really downtown. Now it's in the middle of downtown, which is wonderful. I also love that you hire individuals with special needs - staff like David Byram and Cameron Northup.

"We (the Bear family) are able to do these things because the community has been so good to us. I'm thrilled it's been so successful. I really believe in it.

the levin family

"it was a big leap"

When we lost Fred Levin earlier this year, we lost a legend. The Y - and much of the community - was blessed by his generosity during his lifetime. "Dad had made the decision probably 20 years ago that he wanted to give it away when he was alive and see the fruits of it," said his son, Martin. "The reason was because the Y was there for him."

For Teri Levin, the gift was a solid investment. "The old Y was in bad shape," she said. "The new one was a big leap, and it was a good leap." She also sees the need to nurture body and mind, especially today. "Wellness is really foremost in everybody's mind right now. If we can teach mindfulness, the world will be a better place."

the community sends its heartfelt thanks

to our donors, volunteers, members, partners & friends
Our Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.