By Bob Schiessl
Special to the Live Wire

A large bequest from a Manchester resident will help more students attend Manchester Community College and fund various programs.

Raymond F. “Sonny” Damato, who died at the age of 86 on April 25, 2014, left an estimated $4 million to MCC, said Leia Bell, Executive Director of the Manchester Community College Foundation. It is by far the largest gift in the college’s 51 year history.

Photo Courtesy of Book of Memories

Photo Courtesy by Book of Memories

Damato devoted his life to helping the town of Manchester grow and develop and took great pride in his family, his business and local organizations, according to an obituary. He also spent time at MCC, said Bell.

“Raymond was not an alumni here at the school,” she said. “He took only a few classes.”

In honor of this donation the school is renaming the library and the building surrounding it, currently called the Learning Resource Center. They will become the Raymond F. Damato Library and the Raymond F. Damato Learning Resource Center. Temporary signs announcing the change are up now and when permanent signs are ready a renaming ceremony will be held, said Bell.

Michael Jordan Reilly, Director of Public Relations, said that donation came at a good time, what with the college experiencing a budget deficit in state funding of several hundreds of thousands of dollars in the coming school year.

“This was the best time for the college to receive such a generous donation,” he said.

More scholarships allow students to attend classes at the school, and close some of the gaps left by reduced state funding.