July 09, 2012

The Y family and the entire community lost a champion, philanthropist, scientist, mentor, teacher and wonderful friend on Wednesday, July 4.  Bert Roper, who started his career tending citrus trees for 10 cents an hour and became a citrus giant and inventor died after a short battle with lymphoma.  He left a legacy that will continue to impact the Central Florida community and remind us of his generosity and mission.

The entire Roper family is dedicated to philanthropy. More than that, though, they are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to build a healthier community. That’s why the Ropers have a long-standing relationship with the Y of Central Florida.

They have been involved at every level of our organization—as members, volunteers, and Family Center and Metro Board members. Through their generosity and support, we have been able to build high quality facilities and design programs that benefit all members of our community. At the Family Center that bears their name, the Ropers were instrumental in helping us to build a swimming pool and aquatics program, an effort that has contributed to the safety of our children and brought numerous West Orange families together in a fun, healthy and vibrant environment. The Ropers commitment was the catalyst in transforming the Roper YMCA Family Center (formerly the West Orange YMCA Family Center) into a 35,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, where over 700 kids come together to play.

Bert Roper and his family’s dedication to the Y is a perfect example of the crucial role our partners play in our mission.

“Bert’s Leadership has impacted the community now and for future generations. Bert was a remarkable man with a zest for life. He will be dearly missed. The entire Roper Family is in our Prayers. God Bless – Barbara and the Roper Family,” said Jim Ferber, CEO and President of the YMCA of Central Florida.