John and Carol

John and Carol Durant have been married for more than 30 years. The couple lives in the North End of Saint John and when the Saint John Regional Y opened in their neighbourhood they knew they wanted to be a part of the community hub. But they didn’t think it was something they would be able to afford.

The Durant’s had never heard of the YMCA’s Strong Kids Opportunity Fund, a program that allows everyone the opportunity to participate in Y programs, regardless of their financial circumstances. After simply asking if there was a possible membership option for them, the Durant’s lives have changed!

“I am making it my mission to let people know that anyone can afford this place,” said John, before heading to walk the track with his wife on a Monday afternoon.

“Since we have started coming here our cholesterol has improved, we have more energy and I have lost 9 pounds,” he said.

Their enthusiastic personalities fill the Saint John Regional Y with excitement whenever they stop in, which is at least once a day. The Durant’s can be found taking in an Aquafit class, enjoying Dusty Sneakers in the gymnasium or playing volleyball during the evening.

“We are both so happy and feel at home here,” Carol said. “I haven’t played volleyball in years and it’s a blast being back on the court.”

For the Durant’s the Y isn’t just a place to come and exercise, it’s a second home that is providing them a healthy lifestyle, new friends and most importantly lasting memories.