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Expat Cape Bretoner gives back

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Weights are shown in this stock photo. - 123RF Stock Photo

Gerry Drover donates $15,000 to the Cape Breton YMCA and $25,000 to Riverview High School

SYDNEY, N.S. —

Another Cape Bretoner who left the island years ago, left something behind.

“Physically I left Sydney many years ago but part of my heart has always still been there,” said Gerry Drover, formerly of Sydney and now of Burlington, Ont.

Drover has donated $15,000 to the YMCA of Cape Breton.

“I liked how the YMCA support youth in the community and felt it was a good fit for my donation.”

In a press release, Andre Gallant, CEO for the YMCA of Cape Breton, said the YMCA appreciates Drover’s generous donation, which is directed to the YMCA’s Opportunity Fund providing more than 100 families with access to programs and services at the YMCA each year.

Gallant said Drover came to them with an idea of doing some good in the community. When he learned what we are trying to do for children and youth, he said that would be a good place to put his support.

“With high child poverty statistics and other socio-economic challenges in our community, the need for this fund is greater than ever,” Gallant added in the release.

The YMCA’s Opportunity Fund was created to offset the full cost of memberships, childcare or day camps at the YMCA.

Growing up in Edwardsville, life was tough at times for Drover, who left home at an early age. The founder and former owner of Proliner Utility Products, Dover sold his business about five or six years ago but still works with it as an independent operator and assists in financing and sales.

Drover’s been back to visit Sydney many times including 10-12 years ago when he sailed his yacht to the Dobson Yacht Club where the guys helped him winterize his boat, but no one had their hand out.

“I really don’t forget things like that.”

In a position to help others, Drover had an idea of building a rec centre in Sydney, but a friend suggested it might be hard to maintain the building.

Dan MacLean, a director at the YMCA, encouraged Drover to sit and talk to Andre Gallant,

“I could tell talking to Andre he is dedicated and has quite a passion about what he does at the YMCA,” Drover said.

Drover said the opportunity fund might even help a young man wanting to work in construction but doesn’t have the boots or a young girl applying for employment in offices but doesn’t have the proper attire.

“I really liked what Andre is doing and how is his helping young people.”

Drover also donated $25,000 to Riverview High school and was guest speaker at the graduation.

"I will probably do other things in Sydney, I just haven’t defined what that’s going to be.”

To learn more about the YMCA’s Opportunity Fund contact the YMCA at 902-562-9622.

RELATED: YMCA of Cape Breton seeking new members for its board of directors

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