Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund Award
October 6, 2019
In March of 2015, the Westport Weston Family YMCA received a very generous gift from the estate of Ruth T. Bedford. Ms. Bedford, a YMCA trustee emeritus, a philanthropist, and a strong advocate for the YMCA, continued the family legacy with her gift. Her grandfather, Edward T. Bedford, established the first Westport YMCA in 1923. In 1944, Edward’s son, Frederick T. Bedford and his wife (Ruth’s parents) provided the funding that made it possible to buy Camp Mahackeno, the YMCA’s summer day camp where the current facility is located. Ms. Bedford was instrumental in helping the YMCA to renovate and expand its original downtown Westport location during the 1980s. Ms. Bedford’s gift will continue to allow the YMCA to be a leader in the community and change lives for the next 100 years. In 2015, the YMCA Board of Trustees established the Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund (the “Fund”) to give back to the community and carry forward the legacy of Ruth Bedford. The initial endowment of the Fund was $5 million and earnings from this endowment will support one-year grants to one or more local programs, which will be selected through an annual grant process. The purpose of the Fund is to provide grants to organizations that focus on closing the “achievement gap” in education. Grants are intended to enhance educational opportunities in a transformational way and, as a result, may include a wide range of programs.