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Star Democrat: Franchot honors Dorchester YMCA, Robbins Foundation

CAMBRIDGE — Comptroller Peter Franchot visited the Dorchester County Family YMCA on Monday, March 19, for a tour of the facility and recognized the Pauline F. and David W. Robbins Foundation for supporting the community.

Franchot presented a proclamation to the YMCA’s leadership in appreciation of more than 30 years of service to the Dorchester County community, noting the wide variety of programs offered, its promotion of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

“We know what we’ve done, and we know what we can do,” said Board Chairman Lee Grier. “We’re working on a vision to continue that as best we can. Our partnership now with the Chesapeake YMCA has been great. We have a promising future, and we’re really looking forward to it.” In September 2017, Dorchester Family YMCA officially merged with YMCA of the Chesapeake. There are now 10 YMCA branches across the Eastern Shore under YMCA of the Chesapeake, and it is the largest human service organization on the Eastern Shore serving over 35,000 members.

“We’re delighted that you care so much about this organization which, in my judgment, has the capacity to do more good on the Eastern Shore than really anyone,” said Chief Volunteer Officer Dick Bodroff.

Leonard and Janice Foxwell, trustees of the Pauline F. and David W. Robbins Foundation, also were in attendance. The foundation is a generous supporter of the Dorchester Y, particularly the Aquatics Department. Mr. Foxwell was the brother of the late Pauline “Polly” Robbins.

“Everyone knows how important the Y is to a community, but it has to be solvent,” said Franchot. “I want to particularly thank Leonard Foxwell and Mrs. (Janice) Foxwell for the family foundation, which has proven to be so supportive of this Y.”

Most notably, the foundation has promised a signature gift of $1.2 million, which will be given in increments through 2023.

In May, the name of the organization will be changed to the Robbins Family YMCA, in honor of the foundation and its continued support.

“The Robbins Foundation made a huge impact in not only supporting this Y, but also keeping the pool open, making sure that facility would be available for kids, families, and adults,” said YMCA of the Chesapeake CEO Robbie Gill. “Moving forward into the future without that gift, it would have been really hard for the (Dorchester) Y to continue to maintain that facility. That gift was truly a transformational gift, and when we looked at working together, partnering in the future, and how this Y can make the biggest possible impact in the community, being connected and partnering with the foundation was a huge win for the YMCA.”

The Pauline F. and David W. Robbins Foundation focuses on supporting organizations in Dorchester County. Mr. Foxwell said that the money was made here, invested here, and it will stay here to benefit the people of Dorchester County.

Other organizations supported by the foundation include the National Outdoor Show, the Robin Hood Shop, the Richardson Maritime Museum, the Choptank River Lighthouse, the Dorchester County Historical Society, and many others.

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