Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame star Rebecca Lobo is best known for her career highlights on the court playing for UConn, the New York Liberty and the USA’s Olympic Team, but as a Granby resident with her husband, author Steve Rushin, and their four children, she is an active participant in the Granby community and a stalwart at the Farmington Valley YMCA.
“My family has been part of the Farmington Valley YMCA family for more than a decade,” said Lobo, who has been an active member for more than 13 years. “My kids played sports at the Granby Y, learned to swim at the Y, and participated in early childhood activities that helped introduce me to other moms who remain my closest friends.”
Lobo and Rushin—a sportswriter best known for his four books and work in Sports Illustrated magazine, for which he won National Sportswriter of the Year—are taking their dedication to the YMCA of Greater Hartford to the next level. The couple is this year’s honored guests and featured speakers at the YMCA Celebrates Champions event on Oct. 17 at the Connecticut Convention Center, which will also serve as the 10-year anniversary event for the Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center in the North End of Hartford. The event, which is the YMCA’s signature annual fundraiser, pays tribute to those in the Greater Hartford community who advance the work of the Y’s mission in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
Lobo said, “The Granby Y provided us with a community when we were new parents in a new town, and I am so honored to give back and be part of the Y’s annual fundraiser.”
In addition to the great work all branches of the YMCA of Greater Hartford do, this year’s event will honor Wilson-Gray as the branch celebrates 10 years of helping North End residents. For the past decade, the Wilson-Gray Y has worked to address challenges facing Hartford’s residents, including educational, safety and socioeconomic disadvantages. During the past decade, the Wilson-Gray Y has evolved, and now serves as a beacon for a brighter future for the 4,000 youth and families in that community who are members or program participants.
Harold Sparrow, current president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford, said, “I am excited to welcome Rebecca Lobo and Steve Rushin to help the Y look towards the future. I am proud to have them as members of the Y family who represent our vision to build lifelong success. Steve and Rebecca and their children have found a second home at the Farmington Valley Y, which is what we want for all of our members.”
Sparrow said he is also excited to welcome back Kevin Washington, current president and CEO of the YMCA of the U.S.A., and former CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford. “Kevin Washington was instrumental in the creation of the Wilson-Gray YMCA, and his vision has endured with the work we continue to do at that branch, including this year’s addition of the Best Buy Teen Tech Center to teach youth skills that will set them on a journey to success. We are excited to have him back as we start the next decade of work in the North End community.”
YMCA Celebrates Champions will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Boulevard in Hartford. Tickets are available to the public, and can be purchased at GHYMCA.org/Champions. If you cannot attend but would like to donate to the YMCA, please visit GHYMCA.org/Donate