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Velma Morrison house sells, YMCA gets huge boost

The legendary Harry and Velma Morrison house overlooking Boise has been sold - and the proceeds will pay dividends for generations. The proceeds will help fund the construction of the YMCA's new facility in Meridian. 

The legendary Harry and Velma Morrison house overlooking Boise has been sold - and the proceeds will pay dividends for generations.

"It was just this confluence of the right donor, the right buyer, and the right cause," said David Duro with the YMCA.

The Velma Morrison home sat on the market listed at nearly $2 million for about a year after the Harry W. Foundation gifted the home to the YMCA. The home boasts four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an elevator and a 20-car garage, among other amenities.

"It's about tradition and our deep roots here and how important families like the Morrisons are to our community and everything that Boise has become," Duro said.

RELATED: Velma Morrison's Boise mansion donated to YMCA

The terms of the donation: The proceeds of the sale would go toward the construction of the new YMCA facility in Meridian which will be connected to Hillsdale Elementary School. It's a project whose start has been hanging in the balance.

"We needed to get there and this helped a lot," Duro said. "We know for sure it's going to happen now."

Duro says the YMCA needed $16.9 million to begin to make this project a reality. Now, thanks to the Velma Morrison house purchase, their fundraising efforts have reached $17.1 million.

The buyer - former professional basketball player Bill Wendlandt and his wife and Boise native Calie - just so happen to know how important local YMCA facilities are.

"I grew up in the Y," said Wendlandt. "That was where I learned how to play basketball, that's how I learned about coaching and learned about sportsmanship."

He also learned other skills through his the YMCA in Texas, off the court.

"It's not all about sports," said Wendlandt. "It never is. It's about learning skills and learning values, learning what's right and making good decisions."

Calie Wendlandt says the view from everywhere in the house drew her in.

"Being able to just walk out and see the city of Boise, that's my favorite," said Wendlandt.

Bill Wendlandt says the history of the home will be preserved other than a few cosmetic updates.

"She is Boise," said Wendlandt. "I mean with her philanthropy work and her commitment to the community. We're blessed and honored to even have a part of that history and maybe we can do something to prolong that legacy of hers."

Duro says construction will begin in March and is expected to take a year. The overall fundraising goal is $18.5 million for the entire project.

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