The Y Remembers Cloud L. “Bud” Cray, Jr.
Cloud L. “Bud” Cray, Jr., lifelong Y member, tireless volunteer and caring philanthropist, died February 27, 2019, at the age of 96.
The renovated and expanded Atchison YMCA/Cray Community Center, which opened in December 2017, was named in honor of Cray and his family. Cray was honorary chair of the Capital Campaign and was a force behind $11.3 million in funds raised to renovate and expand the Atchison Y.
“The Y would not be in Atchison without Bud,” said Lorin Affield, executive director of the Atchison Y. “He gave thousands of hours of his time over the years to advance the Y in Atchison and to raise needed funds. His contributions will continue to benefit the Atchison community for future generations.”
The Y has been in Atchison for more than 150 years, and Cray and his family have been an important part of its history. Cray grew up going to the Y. Throughout his life, Cray led by example with his commitment to ensuring the Y serves the Atchison community for years to come.
Over the years, he also served as a member of the Atchison Family YMCA Board of Trustees and chaired the capital campaign to build the swimming pool that opened in 1982. The pool was renovated in 2017 and continues to be a key feature of today’s expanded facility.
The personal contributions of Cray and his family along with the contributions of their business, MGP Ingredients, Inc., have amounted to millions of dollars to benefit the Y in Atchison.
“We take care of the people of Atchison,” Cray said during the recent Capital Campaign. “It is just what we do. The Y has always been the centerpiece of our town, and we need to make sure it stays that way.”
David Byrd, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, said Cray’s impact will live on.
“Bud has left an amazing legacy and impacted thousands of lives over the years,” Byrd said. “His generosity and leadership have helped the Atchison Y and the community of Atchison become an example for other communities to follow.”