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Kraft family is pacesetter for Hockomock area YMCA; Sets bar for capital campaign giving

Foxboro, MA - Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots, and his family have kicked off the Hockomock Area YMCA's Foxboro Branch capital campaign with a $1 million pacesetting gift. The gift is indicative of the Kraft family's firm commitment to the local communities that both organizations serve, including the more than 16,000 youth and families residing in the Town of Foxboro.

"The Kraft family has had an affinity for the Town of Foxboro since they began attending Patriots games back in 1971," said Rena Clark, vice president of community affairs and corporate philanthropy for the New England Patriots. "This donation underscores the family's commitment both to the Town and to their ongoing support for youth and family initiatives. We are hopeful that the Kraft family's generosity helps kick off a record-breaking capital campaign for the YMCA."

"This is the largest gift in the history of our YMCA," remarked Jay Barrows, Chairman of the YMCA's Board of Director's. "Our goal is to double the size of the Foxboro Branch and significantly impact the quality of life of youth and families in Foxboro, Mansfield, and Sharon. What a phenomenal start!"

Barrows added that unlike the first phase of the Foxboro Branch construction (completed in May 2002), which was funded by the Hockomock Area YMCA in partnership with Invensys Foxboro, this second phase expansion must rely on broad philanthropic community investment-such as the Kraft family has demonstrated-in order to be successful.

"The leadership provided by the Kraft family has further energized our Steering Committee. To be associated with their success and vision broadens our reach," stated Greg Spier, the YMCA's Capital Campaign Steering Committee Chairman. "We are excited and grateful for what this means for the Town of Foxboro and the surrounding communities."

Current branch expansion plans include an aquatics center that features a family-fun pool, a new full-size gymnasium, an expanded community wellness center, a new youth and teen center, expanded locker rooms, and a multipurpose space. The Hockomock Area YMCA is the largest provider of childcare in Southeastern Massachusetts and provides values-driven programs and services to more than 30,000 members in 15 communities.

The Foxboro Branch project allows for expanded programming for families; youth fitness and childhood obesity prevention; youth and teen leadership development; active older adult activities; and the Hockomock Area YMCA's Integration Initiative, which provides opportunities for children with special needs to participate along side their typically developing peers in YMCA programs and activities.

"Partnering with like-minded individuals and organizations is the hallmark of our YMCA mission and vision," stated Ed Hurley, President of the Hockomock Area YMCA. "The Kraft family commitment to become involved with this project is a shining example of the power of community collaboration. Mr. Kraft and his family have moved this vision closer to reality."

According to Hurley, further project plans and details will be announced in the coming months.

Over the past three decades, the Kraft family has been one of New England's most philanthropic families, donating millions of dollars in support of local charities and civic affairs. In 2004, the family received the Lifetime Achievement Award during an annual sports legends event in Boston. Underscoring the Kraft family's deep commitment to charitable activities in this community is the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, which helps the youth and families of New England through donations to programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family, and health.

The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable community service organization with branches in Foxboro, Franklin, Mansfield, and North Attleboro. The YMCA's programs, services, and activities are based on the foundation of Judeo-Christian values and emphasize the development of the whole person in spirit, mind, and body and are available to all individuals regardless of their ability to pay.

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