YMCA renamed for local benefactors

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan attended the renaming of the Pauline F. and W. David Robbins Family YMCA in Cambridge on July 17. He is seen with local and state officials, leaders of the YMCA and members.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan attended the renaming of the Pauline F. and W. David Robbins Family YMCA in Cambridge on July 17. He is seen with local and state officials, leaders of the YMCA and members.

CAMBRIDGE – “To me, it’s just Dave and Polly’s house,” Len Foxwell Sr. said.

Mr. Foxwell was speaking July 17 at the renaming of the Pauline F. and W. David Robbins Family YMCA in Cambridge. The event was attended by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, local and state leaders, as well as many members of the sports and exercise facility.

Gov. Hogan was received with a standing ovation by the crowd gathered under a tent in front of the building on Talbot Avenue. In his remarks, he noted that Eastern Shore YMCAs currently engage 40,000 members.

The YMCA of the Chesapeake – the former designation of the Cambridge and Easton partnership – last year, “provided $1.5 million of assistance to more than 13,000 members.”

Chairman of the Board of the YMCA Lee Grier said, “This is a charity that is doing the heavy lifting to make our state a better place to live.”

Those are some of the facts and figures regarding the venues, classes and services offered by the YMCA. But the day was also about remembering the contributions of Mr. and Mrs. Robbins, who were benefactors of the YMCA and other local organizations. The couple passed away some time ago. Their contributions have continued, however, through the Robbins Foundation.

Mr. Foxwell is the brother of Mrs. Robbins, and leads the foundation. Now that the fund has given more than $1.2 million to the YMCA, “I’m confident that Polly and Dave are looking down and are so proud,” Mr. Foxwell said.

He noted that neither had ever sought the spotlight. Mr. Robbins went to work after completing seventh grade, and the pair lived modestly.

He worked as hard as any many I ever met,” Mr. Robbins said. “He was my big brother.”

And as for his sister, who was years older, he said, “She was like a second mother.”

Modesty, hard work, thrift, family and community – “Those were the values they lived by, and those are the values the YMCA follows,” Mr. Foxwell said.

For information on the YMCA, call 410-221-0505.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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