McArthur Family YMCA Expansion


As our community is growing, so are we. We need purposefully designed spaces to offer the types of programs and services the children and adults of our community need. Our facility is a tool that helps us deliver on our mission. With limited space, an aging infrastructure, and barriers to access, we know we must do more.

Thanks to the generous spirt of two truly remarkable individuals, David and Betty Berkman, the McArthur Family YMCA the opportunity to dream of what the future looks like, reimagining how we can expand and serve more of our community. On Saturday, January 20, 2024, we marked the dedication of the David Berkman Gymnasium.

It is with immense joy and gratitude that we celebrate Betty Berkman’s generous gift to the Y in honor of her husband’s passion for youth and families in the Fernandina Beach community. We are honored to carry on David’s legacy and impact to inspire youth to learn, grow and thrive.

The David Berkman Gymnasium is not just a gift to the Y, but the entire community. It enables us to move forward with plans to expand the McArthur Family YMCA. We are now working with key members of our community to secure leadership gifts to  ensure our vision becomes a reality.


The McArthur Family YMCA is a critical foundation for community-focused efforts to foster connections, create opportunities, and provide the encouragement and support children, adults, and families need to shape their lives forever. We strive to transform and shape the lives of all community members, with an emphasis on our three areas of focus: Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.


Empowering young people to reach their full potential through programs that focus on the whole child, from early childhood to young adults is a priority at the Y. Our youth sports programs encourage teamwork, build confidence and introduce healthy practices for life.

  • Military children can bear a tremendous amount of stress related to frequent moves, parental deployment, and trauma should a parent be wounded or killed.
    Operation Hero supports active duty military children, grades 1st – 6th, by providing tools and opportunities for these children to adjust positively to the hardships of the military lifestyle.
  • The Afterschool program at McArthur holistically fosters the physical, social, and emotional development of all kids of all ages. Kids learn more about their world, develop healthy relationships with adults and other kids, build self-reliance, get help with their schoolwork and more – all in a safe, nurturing environment.


Healthy Living, at the McArthur Y, offers solutions for those dealing with chronic disease, raising healthy families, and living a healthier lifestyle in order to enhance disease prevention.

  • LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a valuable, evidenced-based program for cancer survivors looking to reclaim and improve their physical and emotional well-being after a cancer diagnosis. The McArthur Y is proud to offer this program to survivors in Fernandina Beach.
  • The Enhanced Fitness program inspires older adults, particularly those with arthritis and balance issues, to stay active.
  • Exercise is Medicine promotes physical activity and is essential in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions. We strive to improve individual and community well-being through our array of Healthy Living programs offered in Nassau County. A stronger community is a healthier community.


Every year, Florida loses more children under the age of five to drowning than any other state.

  • Our Safety Around Water program teaches kids the fundamental skills to help keep them safe in and around water. With a recent shift in demographics, more families are calling the Island home.It is even more imperative we fulfill our social responsibility and ensure all children, and adults, learn the life-saving skills to keep each other safe around water.

By investing in our building, we are investing in more opportunities to develop the potential of children and teens, give our active older adults a place to belong and connect, provide families with quality time together and establish ourselves as a total wellness resource in an ever-evolving health and fitness landscape. The Y is committed to building a healthier, stronger First Coast overall. Making improvements to Ys in communities such as Fernandina Beach enables us to expand our programs and services in under resourced communities while also strengthening the stability of all our operations across Northeast Florida.


This is your opportunity to provide support for a revitalized YMCA in Fernandina Beach. Investing in the project will bring the Y’s mission of strengthening communities to life. The improvements will address facility needs and position us to respond to growth and future community challenges and opportunities. Gifts of any amount will make a difference and help change lives.

A variety of naming opportunities are available and some are indicated in the red areas on the below renderings. To make a contribution to this campaign, donate online or contact District Executive Director Cezar Gonzalez at or 904.543.9622.

The total amount of the Capital Campaign has not been finalized.
An estimated timeline and completion date has not been finalized.
To ensure our Y is serving today’s generation with an eye to the next, we need purposefully designed spaces to offer the types of programs and services children and adults need. Our facility is a tool that helps us deliver on our mission. With limited space, an aging infrastructure, and barriers to access, we know we must do more.
The Y is committed to building a healthier, stronger First Coast for all. We are always looking for opportunities to upgrade our facilities to better serve the needs of our neighbors. Expanding Ys in growing communities, including the McArthur Family YMCA in Fernandina Beach, allows us to serve more people which strengthens the stability of our overall operations so we can provide greater access to Y programs and services to those living in under-resourced communities.