YMCA to honor 3

YMCA to honor 3

The Westerly Sun

WESTERLY — A generous volunteer, a former Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, and a man who was known as the community’s “go-to guy” will all receive this year’s Ocean Community YMCA Star Award.

The organization is recognizing Edward Smith, Richard Holliday and the late Paul Lynch for exemplifying the YMCA’s key areas of focus: healthy living, social responsibility and youth development.

“It’s important for this community to recognize individuals on a yearly basis who have contributed their support, resources and guidance to the YMCA, along with other nonprofits in our community,” said Maureen Fitzgerald, the president and CEO of the Ocean Community YMCA.

“They are so involved with other nonprofits, too, like the hospital, and Westerly Land Trust.”

Smith and Holliday, and Lynch, posthumously, will be honored Aug. 28 at the YMCA’s third annual Leadership Recognition Breakfast that begins at 8 a.m. at the Ocean House.

Smith is being honored for the focus area of healthy living.

The Rotarian has served on the YMCA Association board since 2004 and as chief volunteer officer from 2007 to 2009. He was instrumental in creating the Arcadia Branch in the Hope Valley area and has served on its board of managers.

Smith was the first Reach Out to Youth annual campaign chairman to implement a face-to-face campaign strategy that resulted in increased fundraising results every year over the past seven years, and most recently raised more than $420,000.

Smith volunteers for several other organizations in the region, including serving on The Westerly Hospital board from 1999 to 2004, and the hospital foundation board from 2004 to 2014.

He attended his first Rotary Club meeting when he was 22 years old and was officially inducted at 23. He has been a member for more than 26 years and served as an officer or director for nearly all of those years.

He has served three terms as club president, was selected as Rotarian of the Year in 1992 and was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow, and honor of the international organization, in 1994.

This past year as club president, the district recognized Smith for the largest membership growth in District 7950 with growth of 65 percent.

Holliday is being honored for the focus area of social responsibility.

He became a member of the Westerly-Pawcatuck YMCA — now Ocean Community — board of directors in 1969 and served until 1977, at which time his employer offered him a leadership position in Texas.

When he returned to Westerly he was asked to rejoin the board in 1991. From 1991 to 2000, Holliday was a board leader, serving as chairman of the initial strategic planning committee, vice-chairman of the board from 1995 to 1997, and board chairman from 1997 to1999.

During the 1993 to 1997 capital campaign and building expansion project, Holliday served as a member of the campaign steering committee and the campaign executive committee.

Together with Lynch, Holliday chaired the Westerly-Pawcatuck branch’s capital campaign, which was the most successful in the YMCA’s history, raising more than $4 million to renovate and expand the branch.

He received the Citizen of the Year award from the Westerly chamber in 2010 and has also served as a member of the hospital board’s finance committee. He is an active member of the Westerly Land Trust, where he heads up the Coffee and Clearings Club.

Lynch will be honored posthumously for the key focus area of youth development.

He was president of Wescon Corp of Pawcatuck and The Granite Theater in Westerly. Personally and through the Horace A. Kimball Foundation, he was a generous supporter of Camp Watchaug, providing money to send children to camp.

While on the association board of the Ocean Community YMCA, Paul co-chaired the capital campaign to renovate the Westerly-Pawcatuck branch and was the chairman of the major gifts division of that campaign. He was a lead donor to the campaign and provided in-kind support from Wescon Corp, a concrete contractor.

He also was a generous supporter of the Reach Out To Youth annual campaign for financial assistance to the YMCA.

Around the community, Lynch was known as a generous supporter of many other charities including The Westerly Hospital through the hospital foundation.

Tickets for the breakfast are available for $50 per person.


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