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Friday, March 30, 2012

Allen Raymond Pledges $500,000 to Y Building Campaign

Longtime Westporter and Y supporter Allen Raymond has pledged $500,000 to the Westport Weston Family Y as it seeks $6 million for its building program, the Y announced today.

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Westporter Allen Raymond was honored in January by having the private access road to the Y’s Mahackeno Outdoor Center, site of the planned new Family Y facility, named “Allen Raymond Lane” in honor of the former Y president, trustee emeritus and longtime civic leader. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“I’ll pledge $500,000 right now,” the 89-year-old Westporter said in a memo on March 23, “so that we can get the show on the road,” according to the announcement.

The Family Y’s CEO, Rob Reeves, and the president of its Board of Directors, Bonnie Strittmatter, said in a joint statement: “Allen truly embodies the heart and soul of Westport … his steadfast commitment and dedication to the Y’s cause is inspirational, and we know his magnificent gift will lead others to climb on board.”

The Family Y has identified $31 million in funding to date for its new home at its Camp Mahackeno facility, including more than $7 million raised since launching its “Building What Matters” capital campaign a year ago.

Provided sufficient funding is in place by mid-May, Family Y officials are scheduled to break ground on the new Y facility in October and to open in late 2014. 

Raymond, whose family lived in Buffalo when he was a boy, has spent every summer of his life at the family’s summer cottage on Westport’s Compo Cove (now called Compo Mill Cove).

“When I was a kid and my parents’ friends asked me, ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ my answer was always, ‘Live in Westport,’” Raymond said.

“My late wife, Barbara, whom I met during our senior year at the University of Michigan, said that was okay with her, and in 1949, for $12,500, we bought our first ‘winter home’ in Westport.”

In 1962, when he was 39 years old, Raymond became the Y’s president and, today, he is still the youngest person to ever hold that title. In 2011, Raymond was named a Y Trustee Emeritus.

Late last year, a select group of Raymond’s friends and fellow leaders of the Family Y established the “Friends of Allen Raymond Recognition Campaign.”  To date, the recognition campaign has received $395,000 in contributions and pledges made in his honor.

As part of this recognition campaign, at a celebration of Raymond’s 89th birthday in January, the Family Y surprised him with the announcement that the private access road to the Y’s Mahackeno campus, now known as Sunny Lane, will be changed to Allen Raymond Lane.

“I cannot think of a better, more lasting and fitting tribute to Allen than to name the entry road to the Y’s wonderful new home in his honor,” said Jim Marpe, Chairman of the Family Y’s volunteer Board of Trustees.

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Posted 03/30/12 at 07:01 PM  Permalink



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A true act of faith…Raymond is a blessing on Westport.

Posted by Isabelle Breen on March 31, 2012 at 01:55 AM | #