Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund


To create, enhance and support educational opportunities for children and/or young adults.

The 2016 grants have been awarded! Click here for details.


In March of 2015, the Westport Weston Family YMCA received a very generous gift from the estate of Ruth T. Bedford. Ms. Bedford, a YMCA trustee emeritus, a philanthropist, and a strong advocate for the YMCA continued the family legacy with her gift. Her grandfather, Edward T. Bedford, established the first Westport YMCA in 1923. In 1944, Edward’s son, Frederick T. Bedford and his wife (Ruth’s parents) provided the funding that made it possible to buy Camp Mahackeno, the YMCA’s summer day camp where the current facility is located. Ms. Bedford was instrumental in helping the YMCA to renovate and expand its original downtown Westport location during the 1980s. Ms. Bedford’s gift will allow the YMCA to be a leader in the community and change lives for the next 100 years.

In 2015, the YMCA Board of Trustees established the Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund (the “Fund”) to give back to the community and carry forward the legacy of Ruth Bedford. The initial endowment of the Fund was $5 million and earnings from this endowment will support one-year grants to one or more local programs, which will be selected through an annual grant process.

Congratulations to the 2016 Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund Recipients:

  • Adam J. Lewis Preschool
  • Carver Foundation of Norwalk
  • Central Connecticut Coast YMCA
  • Connecticut Yankee Council – Boy Scouts
  • Council of Churches – Janus Center
  • Hall Neighborhood House
  • Homes with Hope
  • Horizons at Greens Farms Academy
  • Horizons at Sacred Heart
  • Klein Memorial Auditorium
  • LifeBridge
  • Mercy Learning Center
  • Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County
  • Project Morry
  • Riverbrook Regional YMCA
  • St John’s Family Center
  • Staples Tuition Grants
  • Urban Impact of Blackrock


• 501(c)(3) organization
• Located in and serving one or more of the following communities: Westport, Weston, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Norwalk and Wilton
• Serving children and/or young adults


The purpose of the Fund is to provide grants to organizations that focus on closing the “achievement gap” in education. Grants are intended to enhance educational opportunities in a transformational way and, as a result, may include a wide range of programs.


• Endowment funding
• Indirect/overhead expenses
• Capital projects
• Reduction of debt or operating loss
• Annual campaign or fundraising


September 23, 2016
Preliminary Grant Application.
Applicants must have submitted the Preliminary Grant Application and copy of current IRS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter via email to

October 14, 2016
Preliminary Notification.
Applicant’s organizations will be notified whether or not they have been selected to complete the Final Grant Application.

November 7, 2016
Final Grant Application.
For those Applicants selected to continue to the next step, the full Connecticut Common Grant Application Form and any related information must be submitted.

November 8 – December 9, 2016
Review and Site Visits.
The evaluation committee will review all applications and contact Applicants to schedule site visits. The objective of the site visit is to complete the due diligence review and investigate and resolve any final questions.

December 12 – 14, 2016
Final Grant Notification.

December 16, 2016
Final Grant Awards will be presented.