During his lifetime, Bruce Hendrickson of Holdrege was instrumental in making the YMCA of the Prairie possible and shaping its programs through his generous giving and insight.
Bruce helped start the YMCA of the Prairie by helping with the Founders Campaign to bring a YMCA to Holdrege. He and his wife, Carol, then gave a generous gift to the YMCA Capital Campaign to build the YMCA in 2006. Later, Bruce noticed a need in the community for kids to have access to healthy food in the summer. He started conversations about a summer lunch program and that’s how the YMCA Kids Café started more than 10 years ago. Hundreds of kids each summer thrive with free healthy summer lunches with that program. Carol was a dedicated volunteer to the program for many years before her death in 2016. Bruce and Carol also gave generously to the YMCA Annual Campaign each year.
More than a decade ago, Bruce joined the YMCA of the Prairie’s Heritage Club sharing his intention to leave a legacy gift to the YMCA after his death. Bruce died in March of 2022, and his gift has helped the Don Sjogren Community YMCA in Holdrege complete some much-need repairs and add a new service.
Through his generous estate gift of $75,000, the YMCA has enhanced the Wellness Canter, Group Exercise Room and Gym.
Wellness Center improvements have included TVs and mounts, new upholstery on all the weight machines and two new lifting benches.
The gift enabled the Y to purchase a new stereo system for the Group Exercise Room. The new system allows for Bluetooth and microphone connection so instructors can connect their devices for their classes and be hands-free to demonstrate class moves.
In the gym, the gift funded the resurfacing of the gym floor, which hadn’t been done in four years, and the purchase of another ball cage.
The gift also helped purchase appliances needed to start the new YMCA Snack Shack for members to buy pre and post-workout nutritional and recovery food.
A large share of his gift was used to buy and install a new Wellness Center rooftop heating and air unit to regulate airflow in the main exercise area.
“We are so grateful to Bruce for his generosity to the YMCA over his lifetime and after his passing,” YMCA Executive Branch Director Brett Bebensee said. “Through his generosity, we have been able to make much-needed repairs to the YMCA to ensure its longevity in our community for years to come.”
The YMCA will be planting a memorial tree on one of the front parking lot islands to commemorate Bruce and his legacy at the YMCA.