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McMahons, unnamed 'angel' each give $1 million for new Y

Updated 9:35 am, Saturday, March 23, 2013
  • Linda and Vince McMahon at the May 2012 Republican state convention in Hartford. The couple's family foundation has donated $1 million for the new Westport Weston Family Y. Photo: Jessica Hill, Associated Press / AP2012
    Linda and Vince McMahon at the May 2012 Republican state convention in Hartford. The couple's family foundation has donated $1 million for the new Westport Weston Family Y. Photo: Jessica Hill, Associated Press

 

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The building fund for the Westport Weston Family Y's new Mahackeno facility has received a $2 million infusion of cash, including a $1 million gift from the family of two-time U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon.

The Y on Friday announced the donation from the Linda and Vince McMahon Foundation and a second $1 million gift from an anonymous donor. Ground was broken last month for the new, 54,000-square-foot facility along the Saugatuck River, near the Merritt Parkway.

The pair of $1 million gifts, along with what the Y called "several other significant recent donations" bring total contributions to its capital campaign to $12 million, the organization said in a news release.

Less than $3 million remains to be raised in order to fully fund the $38.5 million facility under construction on the Y's 32-acre Mahackeno property, the Y said. The Y has an agreement to sell its current downtown facility, and money from that sale will provide part of the funding for the new one.

The McMahons built a fortune in the wrestling-entertainment business. Their company, World Wrestling Entertainment, reported $115 million in sales 2012. Linda McMahon is it's former CEO. Her husband Vince is now the chairman and CEO.

A Republican, Linda McMahon lost U.S. Senate elections to Democrats Richard Blumenthal in 2010 and Chris Murphy 2011. Both campaigns were financed largely with her own money.

Y officials said they met with Linda McMahon March 11 at the McMahon Foundation headquarters in Stamford to thank her for the donation.

In the Y's news release, she said the McMahon Family Foundation was is "proud to join folks from the Westport Weston Family Y as they work toward building a new community center."

The Y said the second $1 million donor was "a local philanthropist who wishes to remain anonymous for the time being."

"We thank the McMahons and their foundation for their leadership gift, and we sincerely hope to be able to publicly thank our other `million-dollar angel' at the appropriate time," the Y's executive director, Rob Reeves, said in the news release.

The new Y will feature a multi-purpose gymnasium, wellness center and fitness studios, a 10-lane lap pool and adjacent warm-water teaching/family pool. It's scheduled to open in late 2014.

The 32-acre property has long been the site of the Y's summer camp and outdoor center.