Marty Francis, a longtime Westchester Family YMCA supporter and member of the YMCA Board of Managers, recently announced a $30,000 donation to the YMCA in honor of her late husband, Hugo Francis, one of the founders of the Westchester Family YMCA.

Through fundraising efforts in the 1950s, Hugo was able to raise the $650,000 needed to build the Westchester Family YMCA’s first swimming pool, offices and meeting rooms.

Hugo remained active in all aspects of the organization from serving as the chairman of the Board of Managers to selling Christmas trees in the YMCA’s parking lot, before passing away May 13th, 2003.

Marty has continued to carry on Hugo’s legacy by following in his footsteps and serving actively on the Board of Managers.

“The Francis name is synonymous with the Westchester Family YMCA, and we thank Marty for her very generous donation,” said executive director Lisa D’Angelo. “We continue to work hard at the Y to fulfill the vision Hugo and our other founders had when they built our Y of fulfilling unmet needs in our community and providing services and recreational opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds.”

The money comes at a critical time for the YMCA, which recently purchased the former Westchester Woman’s Club site and is working on plans to enhance its existing facilities.

D’Angelo said the money would go toward future capital improvements at the YMCA.

“I am so happy that I could make this donation in memory of Hugo,” Francis said. “He loved the YMCA and the people here, but above all he loved the Y’s mission.

“This is money well-spent because it will help a whole new generation of children learn to swim, go to camp and more.”

LOCAL REALTOR PASSES AWAY — Lorene Ida “Lokie” Cripps, 92, passed away Saturday, January 20th, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was born May 15th, 1914 in Tumwater, Oklahoma to Dyer Crawford and Maude (Smith) Mitchell.

Lorene is survived by one son, James Cripps and wife Carol of Hemet; one daughter, Susie Thompson and husband Ron Burgess of Oklahoma City; six grandchildren, Stephan Cripps and Paul Cripps, Patty Crockett, Katie Wortham, Jason Thompson, and Madisen Burgess; eight great-grandchildren, Jacob Richmond, Kylie Richmond, Sophie Wortham, Shea Wortham, Reed Wortham, Johnathan Cripps, Sara Cripps, Carly Cripps; and very special friend and caretaker, Jerri Nabors.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Otto Cripps; and one daughter, Mary Lou Crockett.

Lorene lived her professional years building a highly successful family real estate business, The “Cripps Crockett Connection,” with her husband Otto Cripps, daughter Mary Lou Crockett and granddaughter Patty Crockett in Westchester.

Lorene loved to travel to new places, attend community events, go to the local diner, and she loved to “dance to the rhythm.”

She was passionate about her business, her community, her faith and her family.

She instilled a strong work ethic, honesty and the value of a dollar in everyone she met, and that legacy will live on within her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for many generations to come.

Funeral Services are scheduled in Oklahoma on Thursday, January 25th, in the Resthaven Funeral Home Chapel 500 SW 104th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73139; phone: (405) 691-1661. Interment in Resthaven Memory Gardens is to follow.

COMMENTS ON HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMANCE — The Education Committee of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey is seeking comment from the community about Westchester High School’s performance in meeting the educational needs of the community.

A draft report from the high school that will be provided to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is available at www.westchester hs.org

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges is one of six regional associations that accredit public and private schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States.

There will be a meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30th, in the Westchester High School library, where the public is encouraged to participate and provide comment.

Written comment and public comment are encouraged. For those who cannot come to the meeting but would like to comment, comments are being accepted at communications@ ncwpdr.org

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