Westport Y names road to Mahackeno site 'Allen Raymond Lane'
The Y announced the naming during a party Sunday marking Raymond's 89th birthday.
The Mahackeno property will be the site of a new 102,000-square-foot facility scheduled to open in 2014, replacing the downtown Y. The organization said Raymond has long supported the move, which generated neighborhood controversy when proposed and throughout the town approval process.
"We're honored to be able to give something back to him, in some small way, for all he's done for the Y, and for Westport," Rob Reeves, the local Y's chief executive officers said at the gathering, according to a news release distributed Monday by the Y.
The party at the home of Bonnie and Bill Strittmatter was attended by dozens of Raymond's longtime friends, neighbors and Y board members, plus his family. Bonnie Strittmatter is president of the Y's volunteer board of directors.
Raymond grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., and as a boy spent summers in Westport on Mill Cove. He and his late wife Barbara moved to town full time in the 1940s.
"The Family Y and I were born in the same year, 1923, and I became involved with the Y in the mid-1950s, when the first of Barbara's and my five children was old enough to take part in what the Y offers," Raymond said in the news release.
"In those days I was young and eager," he continued. "I began raising money for the Y, and the rest is history. He was president of the Y's Board from 1962 to 1964, a member of the board for many years and now Trustee Emeritus.
"Life doesn't get any better than that," said.
A former publishing executive and founder of an education magazine for elementary school teachers, Raymond has is credited with spearheading the town's purchase of Longshore Beach and Country Club, now Longshore Club Park.
He is also Westport's town historian.
Jim Marpe, chairman of the Y's board, presented Raymond with a facsimile of the street sign at Sunday's celebration.