On Thursday, August 11, 2022, more than 200 guests gathered at the South Shore YMCA branch in Quincy to celebrate the naming of the building as the “Hale Family YMCA” in honor of Rob and Karen Hale, donors of transformational gifts that will help shape and expand the future of the Y for South Shore residents for generations to come.
Hosted by South Shore YMCA’s President and CEO, Paul Gorman, and the South Shore YMCA Executive Board, the event was held in the Y’s Briggs Family Field House, amidst the backdrop of basketball courts and running tracks. Honored guests included Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, City of Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch, Rob and Karen Hale, and their family.
“Karen and I are humbled and honored to permanently cement our name with the commitment and respect that we have for the YMCA,” said Rob Hale. “The Y embodies the things that matter most to us: family and community.”
The Hale family’s involvement with the YMCA runs deep. Generations of their family grew up at the Y, where Rob played basketball, Karen became a lifeguard, and their children attended camp and learned to swim. As volunteers and donors, the Hales have supported the Y for more than 20 years, from the inception of the Emilson YMCA in Hanover to assisting numerous Y programs, projects, and services to benefit the community, and Karen has served as a member of the South Shore YMCA Executive Board.
“Today, we want to recognize the generosity of the Hale family,” said Paul Gorman. “Organizations like the YMCA cannot exist without the generosity of donors and volunteers. For 130 years, this Y has been in the center of Quincy as a safe place for all to enjoy. For Rob and Karen Hale to put their stamp of approval on this Y, we feel honored, and we will continue to be good stewards of that support.”
In 1892, a group of twelve citizens founded the Quincy YMCA to improve the lives of people in the community. After three temporary locations, a new Quincy YMCA building opened in 1955 at 79 Coddington Street in Quincy. On January 26, 2014, the Y’s Quincy branch celebrated the opening of the current, state-of-the-art facility on Coddington Street which was built to better serve the changing needs of Quincy. On August 11, 2022, the Quincy Y was named “the Hale Family YMCA” in recognition of Rob and Karen Hale.
Comparing Rob Hale and his community leadership to that of John Hancock, a “son of Quincy” known for leaving his mark on history, Mayor Thomas Koch said, “Rob, his wife Karen, his mother Judy, have given back continuously. He shares his wealth, he shares that spirit.”
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and his wife, First Lady Lauren Baker, greeted guests, Y members, and Y camp children. The Governor shared with the crowd his respect and appreciation for both the Hale family and the Y for their continuous impact on the community, families, and children.
“You’ve done a beautiful, magnificent thing here and you’re passing it down,” said Governor Baker. “Decade after decade, people are here because of the generosity, creativity, and imagination of all of you. You should be enormously proud of what you’ve accomplished.”
“If you have followed the Hales’ philanthropy, you will see what is important to them – education, health, community, and family – all of which our Y strengthens every day,” said Gorman. “Our Y is about education, offering early education programs and afterschool programs in Quincy schools and beyond. Our Y is about improving health, building a healthy spirit, mind, and body. As you can see today, our Y is a community, representing the diversity of Quincy, in race, culture, economics, age, and ability. And our Y is a family, a place for all – from infant to centenarian – to belong and thrive.”
“Everyone is welcome at this Y, and everyone is safe at this Y,” concluded Rob Hale. “This is a home for so many who need a home. Karen and I are honored and humbled to be part of your family. To the Y, we thank you for being part of our community… and thank you for letting us be part of your family.”