Allen Raymond did many remarkable things in his 91 years of life on earth. The lifelong Westporter was a philanthropist, tireless volunteer, devoted church member, political leader, and adviser to selectmen. He was also one of the Westport Family Y‘s longest-serving, proudest board members, and a major contributor to the new Mahackeno facility.
He died on May 1 — less than 4 months before tonight’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. But Allen was not only at Mahackeno in spirit — he was really, truly there.
Y officials showed a video of their beloved benefactor. Filmed at Allen’s home in February — when he knew his life was ebbing away — it shows him at his best. He’s smiling warmly, joking gently, speaking lovingly and gracefully.
The new Mahackeno Y will hopefully thrive as long as its downtown predecessor did: 90 years. Yet in the next 9 decades, it’s hard to imagine any moment that can top tonight’s amazing appearance — one last time — by Allen Raymond.(Click here if your browser does not take you directly to YouTube. Filmed, edited and produced by Brian Russell of Red Shoe Film. Aerial footage by Rick Eason.)