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Westport Man Pledges $500K to Family Y

WESTPORT, Conn. – A personal gift from lifelong Westport resident Allen Raymond puts the Westport Weston Family Y $500,000 closer to meeting its fundraising goals for construction on the new facility.

At a public meeting last month, Family Y officials announced it needed to raise a “significant” portion of $6 million in order to break ground on the planned new facility at its Mahackeno Outdoor Center.

“I’ll pledge $500,000 right now so that we can get the show on the road,” Raymond, 89, wrote in a March 23 memo to Family Y officials, the nonprofit announced Friday.

The Family Y has identified $31 million in funding to date, including more than $7 million raised since launching its “Building What Matters” capital campaign last year. Provided sufficient funding is in place by mid-May, construction on a 55,000-square-foot main building is scheduled to break ground in October. Construction is estimated to take two years, and the facility is planned to open in late 2014.

Raymond, the town historian, is a past president of the Y. Last year, he was named a Y Trustee Emeritus.

“Allen truly embodies the heart and soul of Westport,” Family Y CEO Rob Reeve and Board of Directors President Bonnie Strittmatter said in a joint statement.  “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.”

Earlier this year, the Family Y announced it was renaming the private access road to its Mahackeno campus after Raymond. The road, now known as Sunny Lane, will be changed to Allen Raymond Lane .

The Family Y intends to match Raymond’s $500,000 contribution. To make a donation in Raymond’s honor, contact Rob Reeves at 203-226-8981, ext. 131.

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