Honouring the Allard Family

Allard Family
Allard family members at One Year Out event, September 18th

When a generous first donation was made to the YMCA by The Highbury Foundation back in 2006, nobody would have guessed that this would spark a relationship between the YMCA, The Highbury Foundation and Peter Allard that would go on to span decades and positively impact hundreds of families. For the 15 years since that first gift, Peter Allard and The Highbury Foundation have been great supporters of the YMCA and its sustainable charity model, lending significant support to a wide variety of causes within the YMCA, including childcare, day camps, youth programming, and the building of new spaces for diverse people to improve their physical health and wellbeing.

Along with varied programs that support children and youth, the YMCA is able to provide consistent financial assistance to single-parent families accessing Y programs like childcare and swim lessons thanks to the support of Peter Allard. Having been raised by a single mother himself, he is aware of the extra barriers and struggles faced by single-parents families and is especially supportive vulnerable families in positions like these.

Benjamin King
Benjamin King 

In fact, through all of Peter Allard’s interactions with the Y, it’s clear that he’s a man who cares deeply for family. On September 18th, it was publicly announced that through a transformational naming gift to the YMCA, Peter Allard had chosen to name the Coquitlam YMCA after his late mother. At an event celebrating the naming of the future Bettie Allard YMCA, Peter Allard asked his great nephew, Benjamin King, to speak on his behalf. Benjamin spoke to Bettie’s incredible life of service, education and caring for those around her, clearly family values that he saw aligned with the YMCA, so how appropriate to have his great-grandmother’s name to it. Several of the Allard family were in attendance at the event, including young Caleb Pickles – Peter’s great, great nephew – who shared how much he loved swimming with “Uncle Peter” at the Robert Lee YMCA. In addition, The Highbury Foundation is led by Peter Allard’s nephew, Robert King, and makes significant contributions to the community both in partnership with Peter Allard and independently.

At the YMCA, we feel incredibly honoured that after all of the work that has gone into getting the Coquitlam YMCA ready to open in 2022, it will bear the name of someone as lively and committed to doing the right thing as Bettie Allard was. And even more, we are grateful for the strong values and enduring support of Peter Allard.