Robert Lee Donates $2 Million to YMCA

The Province

A Vancouver businessman has donated $2 million to help the YMCA with the redevelopment of its Vancouver property.

YMCA Greater Vancouver president Bill Stewart said the donation from Robert Lee will result in the new downtown premises being named the Robert Lee YMCA.

"This is a milestone for us as we look towards our goal of raising $10 million so we can welcome everyone through the doors of our brand-new YMCA," Stewart said.

Lee is founder and chairman of the Prospero Group and well known for his business leadership and real-estate development, as well as philanthropy.

In November 2006, the Robert H. Lee Graduate School was established at the University of B.C.'s Sauder School of Business to recognize a gift from Lee. He graduated from UBC in 1956 and has served on the UBC board of governors and was a founder of the UBC Properties Trust.

Lee has been a YMCA member for 45 years. "You know, I can just be myself there. I'm very proud to be associated with the YMCA," Lee said. "Children and youth need to get active and stay active in life, for themselves, their families and the health of their communities."

The new downtown YMCA at 955 Burrard Street is currently under construction. The project is a joint venture with Concert Properties that will result in a 42-storey condo tower and a 95,000-square-foot YMCA facility.

The Robert Lee YMCA will be six storeys and geared toward people from all backgrounds, abilities and walks of life. The top two floors will be home to a 69-space child-care centre.

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