GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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June 24, 2013

Manchester man donates $150,000 to YMCA

BEVERLY — A Manchester man has donated $150,000 to the Greater Beverly YMCA, its largest annual operating gift from a single donor.

Ralph Bates gave $75,000 and offered an additional $75,000 if the YMCA could raise matching funds by May 17, which it did.

Judith Cronin, executive director of the Y, said the money will be used to provide financial assistance to people who would not otherwise be able to afford the Y’s programs and services. One in five people receive financial assistance, totaling more than $700,000 each year, according to the Y.

“I want to thank Ralph for his generosity and deep desire to help those in need,” Cronin said.

A bachelor, Bates, 82, has made several large donations to nonprofits in recent years, including $100,000 gifts to the Gloucester-based Wellspring House earlier this year, and to Northeast Senior Health and the River House homeless shelter in Beverly last year. He donated $1 million to The Jimmy Fund in 2006.

“I feel so bad about people who don’t have anything,” Bates said in a press release. “I used to be a member of the Woburn Y many years ago and I would go there to play basketball. I thought that was what the Y was all about, until I met the folks at the Greater Beverly Y. They told me about the great charitable work they do. I know they help a lot of people.”

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@gloucestertimes.com.

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