The Rev. Reggie Smith, assistant pastor at the Blackwell AME Zion Church, is no stranger to the Jamestown Area YMCAs.
He started his YMCA journey in 2003, playing pickup and league basketball at the Jamestown YMCA. He added fitness to his routine at both the Jamestown and Lakewood YMCAs, which made him stronger and more active both physically and spiritually.
"I grew up impoverished and raised by my father in Buffalo," said Smith. "He instilled spiritual values in me that I continue to use for learning and growth every day."
The Rev. Reggie Smith takes a break from refereeing a YMCA Tom Buttafaro Youth Basketball League game.
When Smith arrived to Falconer in 2003, he wanted a new start.
"My time at the Y turned into something great," said Smith. "I was able to be a member and then continue my membership because of the laid off worker program at the Y, which has really helped me in my life."
From there, Smith became a volunteer referee for the Tom Buttafaro Youth Basketball League and Teen Center league at the Y. Currently, he is the YBL site supervisor at Love School.
"I saw an opportunity to watch a child grow, experience the quality of life and become a part of a team which made me a positive role model," said Smith.
"I enjoy giving back to the community and seeing the purpose in kids. The YMCA opens up doors for kids that do not always have a safe haven and gives them opportunities for lifelong friendships and leadership."
As far as advice to people who would like to experience the Y, he said it is important to become a member and talk to other members to take advantage of all the programs and services offered.
Smith is a Medicaid service coordinator for Aspire of Western New York. He has four daughters: Amasharay of Jamestown and Rayna, Clara and Tessa, all of Naples, Fla.