Place Family and Putnam Ford Make Major Gift to YMCA


Putnam Ford is the latest in a growing list of businesses and individuals who are getting behind the Regional Community YMCA.  Putnam Ford and the Place family recently made a leadership gift to the Y, which will be located less than a mile from the dealership on Interstate 395 at Exit 45 in Putnam. 

Swimming has always been an important part of the lives of the Place family of Putnam Ford.  It's because for this and other important reasons, the family and the business have stepped forward in support of the Regional Community YMCA.
"Putnam Ford is a big part of the Northeastern Connecticut community.  It's our feeling that a YMCA will greatly enhance the quality of life in our area by providing services for people of all ages," said Rick Place owner of Putnam Ford.
Place, his wife Mary and daughter Shannon are all avid swimmers.  They're also supporters of many worthwhile causes in the region, such as the Relay for Life, the Deary Road Race, Arc of Quinebaug Valley and Project Northeast, among the cause they believe are vital to the area.
"Since meeting the people involved with the YMCA we realized that the only way it would become a reality is with the support of local businesses and individuals.  We're proud of the gift we've made toward the project and look forward to the Y becoming a reality," said Place.
Rick and Mary Place are graduates of the University of Maine in Orono.  It was there that Rick became involved in raising money for charitable causes.  He and his friends started an event that raised more than $3500 each year for the Orono Area United Way.
"I believe it's important for kids to become acclimated to the water from an early age.  We must remove the fear of water by starting them in the pool even as babies," said Mary Place.
"The Regional Community YMCA will be a great place for kids to have swimming lessons.  The competition pool, in time, will provide a venue for schools to use the facility.  It will also help us to combat accidental drowning, which is often preventable if kids understand water safety," concluded Mrs. Place.
"We're so pleased that the Place family and Putnam Ford have made a leadership gift to the campaign.  Their support is an indication of the value they place in the Y as a family oriented program and the importance of water safety especially for youngsters," said James O'S Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford.
When completed, the Regional Community YMCA will feature a competitive pool as well as warm water zero entry pool for elderly and handicapped individuals.  It will also have a gymnasium, fitness area and teen center.  Construction of the 50,000 square foot facility is expected to be approximately $13 million.  More than $9 million has been raised, through a $3 million gift from the Newell D. Hale foundation, $3.745 from a grant from the State of Connecticut and nearly $2.2 million in community support as part of a $2.5 million campaign.

The Regional Community YMCA is envisioned as a place where families, regardless of ability, will be able to avail themselves of numerous activities and programs.  The leadership gift of the Place family and Putnam Ford is an indication of how important this project is to Northeastern Connecticut and its people.