Seven Figure Gift from Dallas Philanthropist J.E.R. Chilton
Donation is second largest gift in the YMCA Dallas 127-year history
DALLAS, TEXAS – In a press conference this morning Dallas YMCA announced that local businessman and philanthropist J.E.R. “Bob” Chilton has donated $2.5 million to the organization. This gift is the second largest gift in the 127-year history of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas.
“The generosity of Bob Chilton is truly humbling to me and to this organization,” said Gordon Echtenkamp, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. “Mr. Chilton has long been involved with the YMCA and we are honored that he has decided to invest again in this organization that is changing lives every day.”
The $2.5 million dollar legacy gift will rename the Rockwall County YMCA the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA. The gift is one phase of the $5 million master plan that will improve the overall complex. The gift will also allow the Y to do some much needed capital improvements to the YMCA in Rockwall including increasing the size of the facility by more than 12,000 square feet and ultimately meeting the needs of the community in a more effective way.
“The YMCA today encompasses so much more than the “Y” we grew up with. Today’s Y is a major factor in meeting the needs of present day society and demanding environment. Yes the swimming lessons are still part of the Y program but, through it’s various impactful and numerous outreach programs as it’s outside-of-school care, teaching of life’s value lessons, and educating children how to be responsible citizens, the ‘Y’ is literally molding tomorrow’s communities thru today’s kids.
Because Rockwall is growing so rapidly the demand on it’s physical plant is intense. A larger updated facility will help the entire area. I believe the Rockwall ‘Y’ will be a center around which tomorrows community will evolve.” said J.E.R. “Bob” Chilton.
Mr. Chilton has a long history with the YMCA as he grew up swimming as a member of the Downtown YMCA and has supported the organization financially for years. He also coached his son’s football teams in the YMCA Program. Bob was on a capital campaign committee from 1997-1999 where he donated $750,000 to help build out the current YMCA at White Rock. He also donated $250,000 to build out the natatorium for the current Rockwall YMCA.