A bright new school bus arrived at the Don Sjogren Community YMCA this summer just in time to transport busloads of kids to summer field trips.
“The old bus had given all she had through the years,” Don Sjogren Community YMCA Executive Director Brett Bebensee said. “It was a ‘95 model and had done a great job serving the YMCA community, but with some of the repairs that were needed it was time to move on to a new bus.”
The new 2008 model 48-passenger bus was delivered to the YMCA on June 9 after being YMCA branded by 308 Wrap & Tint in Lexington. Instead of school-bus yellow, the bus is adorned with bright YMCA colors.
“The kids have fallen in love with the bus, from the amazing colors to how much space is on there compared to the last bus,” Bebensee said.
The bus was just in time to take YMCA summer campers to the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island on June 10. Other fun field trips planned for this summer include trips to the Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora; Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington; water parks in Hastings, Grand Island and Lexington; North Platte Buffalo Bill Ranch; the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kan.; and the Nebraska Bigfoot Crossroads of American Museum in Hastings.
Nearly 50 kids are registered for YMCA summer camps each week this summer. Camps are for children entering grades K-4, and each week has a special theme ranging from History to Soar Like Hero to Down & Dirty.
The Y also hosts a Summer Middle School Camp, which is from 9:30 a.m.-Noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 28-August 5. A special field trip to the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland is planned for middle school students on July 8.
Bebensee said that during the school year, the YMCA will plan to transport kids from Legacy Christian School to the YMCA after-school program. The bus will also be used for the YMCA’s popular Polar Express event in December.
“I am excited to use the bus for the community,” Bebensee said.
The bus was purchased through the generosity of community donors, including grants from the Phelps Memorial Health Center Foundation, the Phelps County Community Foundation and the Roy W. and Mary L. Pearson Charitable Fund (through PCCF). Other donors included Joe and Mallory Haas, HHS Class of 1966, Coach Masters and 308 Tint & Wrap.
“This bus was made possible only by the community and for the community, and the YMCA is so blessed by all the donations and grants that we received,” Bebensee said.