The in Caribou has received commitments totaling $5 million from Presque Isle native Mary Barton Akeley Smith in support of outdoor recreational and health programs, the reports.
The commitments include a $2 million gift and $3 million in matching funds, which the center will receive if it raises an equal amount. Fully matched, Smith's gift will represent $8 million for the center's endowment.
Established in 1999, the center has trained fifteen Olympic athletes and hosted the state's first World Cup Biathlon in 2004. In addition, MWSC recreation programs have reached a hundred and forty communities in the state, engaging thousands of people in year-round outdoor activities.
Smith's husband, Rodney, developed his fortune working in the electronics industry in Silicon Valley. Since her husband's death in 2007, Smith has made a number of seven-figure gifts to organizations in northern Maine, where she was raised.
"The size of this gift certainly caught me by surprise," said MWSC president and CEO Andy Shepard. "But at the same time, it reflects Mary's commitment to making sure Maine Winter Sports Center survives in a way that will hopefully inspire other people to also give."