Westport-Weston YMCA pays tribute to Bedford family’s legacy of support
It would be an understatement to say there might be no Westport-Weston Family YMCA were it not for the Bedford family. For five generations, members of the Bedford family have been the Y’s most significant benefactors and supporters. In fact, it was a $150,000 gift from Edward T. Bedford that established the YMCA in Westport.
In recognition of the Bedford’s longtime support of the YMCA - including gifts to make possible its new headquarters on the Mahackeno campus - Y officials on Tuesday led the dedication of the Bedford Family Legacy Wall in conjunction with the building’s first anniversary.
The wall in the lobby of the building - formally, the Bedford Family Center - features a montage of historic photos and information celebrating the family’s decades of support to the YMCA and other community causes.
“I’m honored they did this,” said Libby McKinney Tritschler, a great, great granddaughter of Edward T. Bedford, whose gift built the Y’s historic building downtown, which has been sold to developers of the multi-use Bedford Square complex. “It’s fun to see the history,” she said.
“This is a great honor for our family,” said John McKinney, a former state senator and Tritschler’s brother.
“The Y wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Bedfords,” said Patricia Riemersma, the Y’s new CEO.
Also paid tribute on the legacy wall are Ruth T. Bedford, a longtime Y trustee whose $40 million bequest to the Y, announced earlier this year, will “help ensure the YMCA’s future as a local center of community life dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” according to Y officials.