Trust gives $400,000 to local youth center
The check really was in the mail.The Aspen Youth Center received slightly more than $400,000 this week from the Martha Hood Roynon Trust. The center is one of five beneficiaries of the trust, established in the memory of Roynon’s son, Robin.”I was speechless. I’m still speechless. I’ve got goose bumps,” said Sarah Blangsted, executive director of the center, who discovered the check in the mail Wednesday.The local nonprofit was notified more than a year ago that it had been remembered in Roynon’s will. After hearing nothing more about it, Blangsted recently received word that a check would be coming.”We’re just completely blown away by all this,” she said. “It’s one of those blessings that just kind of came to us.”Blangsted never met Roynon, a Chicago resident who died May 1, 2004. Her bequest was distributed to the youth center on what would have been her 97th birthday.Marti, as she was known by friends, was a regular visitor to Aspen, coming twice a year to ski with her husband, Jack, and son, Robin, who died in his mid-20s. Jack died in 1974. Marti continued to ski through her mid-80s, according to information provided to Blangsted by the trustee handling her estate.Roynon apparently found out about the youth center after her son had died and wished the facility had existed when Robin was a boy.She left funds to the youth center and four schools: the Latin School of Chicago, Hyde School, Miami University and Lake Forest Academy.The youth center plans to invest the contribution and establish an endowment for the facility, perhaps using some of the earnings for the center’s operation, according to Blangsted. The center will continue to support itself through fund-raising.”It’s a safety net for us,” she said. “I don’t want this to backfire – for people to think we’re so wealthy, we don’t need money.”The youth center is a nonprofit that operates independently of the city of Aspen, leasing space at the Aspen Recreation Center for its facilities.About 85 percent of its $300,000 annual operating budget comes from grants, contributions and special events, Blangsted said. The remainder is covered by fees charged to youngsters who use the facility.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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