The Westport/Weston Family Y received a substantial leadership gift from its President of the Family Y Board of Directors, Bonnie Strittmatter and her husband, Bill Strittmatter. Previously pledging a total of $700,000 toward the construction of a new Y facility at the 32-acre Mahackeno Outdoor Center, the Strittmatters generosity now exceeded expectations …. As they pledged an additional one million dollars – literally, a Y changing donation!
Bonnie moved to Westport, as a child, in 1965 with her family, was a student in the Westport school system and attended various activities as a member of the Westport Y, before eventually going off to college and graduate school. From there (in 1980) Bonnie accepted a position with G.E. in Stamford (in finance, working mainly on acquisitions) where she met her husband, Bill (who worked in risks). They were married at the Greens Farms Congregational Church and owned a home in Weston.
The birth of their two children, daughter Laura and son Alex, brought Bonnie and her family back to the Family Y and its Water Rat Parents Club, as Bonnie joined the Y Board in 2005, having previously served as Treasurer and Co-President of the Club.
“Our children grew up at the Y, from learning to swim as toddlers in the Brophy Pool, to summers at Camp Mahackeno, to their life-changing involvement with the Water Rat Swim Team. We’d like to make this possible for other families as well. It’s a great sport,” said Bonnie. “The Y fulfills a unique role not only in our family’s lives, but for our entire community.” The Strittmatter children continued to swim through their high school years (at Johns Hopkins) and were members of their collegiate swim teams, as well.
In June 2011, Bonnie was named President of the Family Y’s Board of Directors. She and her fellow Directors (all of whom are volunteers) oversee the Family Y’s operations and programs; the Trustee’s manage the assets and long-term investments of this nonprofit charitable organization.
Newly built Y:
The brand new state of the art Y is a 55,000 square foot (wheel chair accessible) facility which boasts: a large gymnasium, a wellness facility with brand new cutting edge equipment, three studios (including a mind, body & spirit studio and a dedicated spin studio), a meeting room, and five locker rooms; a girls, boys, men’s, women’s and a co-ed family locker room, each complete with private showers and The Strittmatter Aquatic Center. This center has two pools, one is a 10-lane, 25 yard long, 9 foot deep (4’ ft. deep on edges), 80 degree, competitive swim pool. The other is a 5 lane warm water (85 degree) therapy and teaching pool with a zero depth entry (ramp) so young children and people who need assistance (or wheel chairs) can enjoy this pool. The pool has a bench seating area with water jets/ a whirlpool and many special water features for children to enjoy; a fountain, basketball hoop, slide and the very first pool climbing wall in the state of Ct! Climb the wall and plunge into the pool!
Future Y plans:
Unfortunately, not enough funds were raised in time (as the current Y must be evacuated in November, 2014) to build the entire originally planned 100,000 square foot Y. The project was therefore scaled back and is being built in phases. Phase one is described above. Phase two will include a gymnastics program and facility as well as a childcare facility. Donations are currently being accepted in support of this completion.
“Bonnie and I appreciate all that the Y has given our family,” said Bill. “We want to help ensure that other local families will be able to benefit from the same positive experiences.”
A ribbon-cutting is planned for August 28th and the celebration will continue throughout the Labor Day weekend. Residents of Weston and Westport are encouraged to come enjoy the festivities, free of charge to all, in hopes they’ll join this great new family Y!
“We hope everyone will come to our grand opening and see our wonderful new facility and join us at the Y,” said Bonnie.
Westport Weston Family Y
14 Allen Raymond Ln, Westport; 203-221-8390