Cathy and John Belcher
May 15, 2013 07:36PM
● By Anonymous
In the time since, not only have Cathy and John gained U.S. citizenship, they’ve also gained the gratitude of numerous organizations for their continued and generous support. In fact, on any given night with any given gala for almost any charity, you can all but guarantee you’ll see Cathy and John on the dance floor. They not only love a black-tie evening, they love backing a great cause. And when they aren’t out and about, they’re often on their iPads at their waterfront Edgewater home, soliciting donations, and tirelessly pursuing goodwill.
The Belchers earlier careers—John as a CEO of a number of high-tech companies and Cathy in senior management positions for the Canadian government—took the couple across North America and around the world. “That opened our eyes to many cultures and the extent of poverty and needs of many classes of people,” Cathy says with eyes glistening of empathy. Most recently, the couple enjoyed a three-week African safari across six countries. As beautiful and adventurous as the trip was, it also reaffirmed their determination to aid those less fortunate.
The experiences they forged together, while pursuing professional endeavors, paved a path toward giving back to their community. When the Belchers arrived in Annapolis 15 years ago, they saw opportunities throughout the community to contribute their “triple A type energy,” as Cathy enthusiastically classifies them, and immediately went to task.
“We believe a characteristic of leadership in philanthropy is by action and a commitment of volunteerism across a wide selection of organizations,” says John, a natural leader and currently the chairman and CEO of ARINC, a global engineering company based in Annapolis.
“Supporting your community gives you a sense of pride,” Cathy says. In addition to considerable financial support (notably a $1 million kick-start donation to fund AAMC’s “Care Like No Other” Capital Campaign), the couple has served on many boards, including Hospice of the Chesapeake, Anne Arundel County Public Library Foundation, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation, Historic Annapolis Foundation, Maryland Theatre for the Performing Arts, World Trade Center Institute, and St. John’s College, among others.
In 2012, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Maryland Chapter named the Belchers 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers of the Year. This year, the couple intends to build upon their fundraising success, but also carve out time to relax; they love the outdoors and boating on the South River. Thanks to their generosity and volunteered time, many organizations have been able to achieve the means to their ends.
One of Cathy’s important thrusts is Hospice of the Chesapeake, which has moved into a Capital Campaign to establish a new campus and to expand their supportive care and bereavement services. Cathy and John have stepped up with a significant financial commitment. Another example: In 2000, John chaired the Historic Annapolis Foundation Board Capital Campaign for History Quest and raised more than $3 million.
Today, History Quest—now called the Historic Annapolis Museum—in downtown Annapolis welcomes visitors to the region; fittingly analogous to how the Belchers arrived and felt welcomed by the very community they’ve grown to love and support.