On Belay continues in the memory of its vibrant and determined founder, Crescentia Healy-True, who continues to inspire.
Crescentia Healy-True with her daughters and New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch as she receives Volunteer of the Year Award.
On Belay was created in 2004 when Crescentia Healy-True, a Durham resident and tenacious mother, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately putting the needs of her daughters before her own, Crescentia was determined to ensure that the two girls, ages twelve and fourteen, would have a community of friends to confide in and to look to for support while their mother was in treatment and after she was gone. After researching available programs, Crescentia determined that none were the right fit for her animated, active, and adventurous girls. Driven by her love for her daughters, and in between aggressive chemo and radiation treatments, Crescentia created On Belay.
Crescentia recognized that traditional support groups are not always the answer for every child and that many children living through traumatic family situations fall between the cracks. She, along with the core group of founding board members and volunteers, believed that using adventure activities to enhance confidence and self-esteem can provide children with the tools to find their way through challenging situations.
The first On Belay program was held on June 5, 2004 at the University of New Hampshire’s Browne Center with eighteen participants. Today On Belay hosts 6-7 programs throughout the year at multiple venues throughout Southern New Hampshire, Southern Maine and the North Shore of Massachusetts, serving over a hundred families from across New England.