NEWS

September 24, 2018

WAUSAU, Wis. The Dudley Foundation, WoodTrust Bank and the River Valley Bank Foundation have announced major gifts totaling $900,000 to support the Woodson YMCA modernization and expansion project in downtown Wausau. The Dudley Foundation and its directors have pledged $500,000; WoodTrust Bank and its family owners will contribute $275,000; and the River Valley Bank Foundation, along with the bank’s family owners, have pledged $125,000. These donations are part of $16.5 million that has already been pledged to the $19 million project.

More than $500,000 in additional donations from individuals and businesses has been raised during the early stages of the public fundraising campaign, and $2.5 million is still needed to complete the project. More information about the project and online donations can be made at www.strengtheningourheart.com, or checks made payable to the Woodson YMCA Foundation can be mailed to the Woodson YMCA, 707 Third Street, Wausau, WI 54403.

Donations from the Dudley Foundation and its directors will help fund the new Multi-purpose Educational Center at the Y, where a variety of educational programs and activities for community residents will take place. One of the key features is a training kitchen where healthy eating and cooking classes can be taught. “A $250,000 Dudley Foundation grant, the largest in our 18-year history, was matched with individual contributions from the Dudley and Schlindwein family members. We are confident that our contributions to this state-of-the-art YMCA development will enhance health and wellness opportunities for Wausau residents. It is inspiring to see this innovative development taking place in our vibrant downtown business and entertainment center,” said Ann Dudley Shannon, president of the Dudley Foundation.

Two local, family-owned financial institutions are also supporting the downtown Y initiative. The gifts from WoodTrust Bank and its family owners will help fund the new Social Hub at the Woodson YMCA that will provide interactive and conversation spaces for all ages. WoodTrust Bank president, Chad Kane, is also chair of the Woodson YMCA’s 2018 Capital Campaign. The River Valley Bank Foundation, Inc. was formed in 2016 to serve as the primary philanthropic arm of River Valley Bank and its Chairman, Todd Nicklaus, serves on the board of the Woodson YMCA Foundation.

“Thank you to WoodTrust Bank, the Dudley Foundation and the River Valley Bank Foundation,” Woodson YMCA CEO Bryan Bailey, said. “The contributions from these extraordinary local organizations and individuals move us three big steps forward and further demonstrate the spirit of giving that is so prevalent in our community.”

The Woodson YMCA project will add:

  • a new older adult activity center funded entirely by the Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation

  • a new field house, predominantly funded by Aspirus

  • a new state-of-the-art gymnastics area,

  • a new child care facility,

  • an expanded wellness center,

  • fully-renovated locker rooms,

  • increased parking, and other improvements to the existing facility.

Architectural renderings, floorplans and a video about the modernization and expansion project at the Woodson YMCA can be seen at www.strengtheningourheart.com.

September 11, 2018

WAUSAU, Wis. Greenheck, the largest manufacturing company in the Wausau area, has donated $1 million to the Woodson YMCA modernization and expansion project on behalf of its 2300 local employees. Headquartered in Schofield, Greenheck is the worldwide leader in designing and manufacturing air movement, control and conditioning equipment for all types of non-residential buildings.

“Health and wellness for our employees and families is critical to our success, and we strive to support those opportunities whenever we can,” said Jim McIntyre, CEO and president of the company. “This exciting YMCA project not only benefits our employees but our entire community by creating an extraordinary facility that can help us retain the outstanding employees we have and recruit talented new employees to the area. We hope our gift will encourage other businesses and individuals to support this exciting project.”

“Greenheck’s amazing gift supporting our new and expanded downtown YMCA will help us create one of the nation’s leading health and wellness campuses—and benefit Wausau area residents of all ages,” said Chad Kane, chair of the Woodson YMCA’s 2018 Capital Campaign. “As one of our area’s leading employers, Greenheck has always been a strong supporter of important community projects, and we are grateful for their generosity in funding our modernization and expansion project. Our Board is hopeful that Greenheck’s corporate leadership will inspire other local businesses to contribute as well.”

The Woodson YMCA project will add:

  • a new field house,

  • a new state-of-the-art gymnastics area,

  • a new child care facility,

  • an expanded wellness center,

  • increased parking, and other improvements to the existing facility.

The $1 million donation from Greenheck is part of $16 million that has already been pledged to the $19 million YMCA project in downtown Wausau. Approximately $3 million in additional donations from individuals and businesses is still needed to complete the project. More information about the project and online donations can be made at www.strengtheningourheart.com. Or checks made payable to the Woodson YMCA Foundation can be mailed to the Woodson YMCA, 707 Third Street, Wausau, WI 54403.

September 6, 2018

WAUSAU, Wis. A $1 million donation and a $500,000 matching grant from the B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation and a $1.5 million contribution from the Judd S. Alexander Foundation to the Woodson YMCA modernization and expansion project were announced today. Both donations are part of the $16 million that has already been pledged to the $19 million YMCA project in downtown Wausau.

B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation

The $1 million donation from the B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation will help expand child care for 54 toddlers, infants and other young children in Wausau–and fund many other improvements at the Woodson YMCA’s child care facility. The matching grant of up to $500,000 will double any donations received through the public fundraising campaign, Strengthening the Heart of Our Community.

Approximately $3 million in additional donations from the public will be needed to complete the YMCA modernization and expansion project. Online donations can be made at www.strengtheningourheart.com or checks made payable to the Woodson YMCA Foundation can be mailed to the Woodson YMCA, 707 Third Street, Wausau, WI 54403

Bernie Greenheck co-founded Greenheck Fan Corporation in 1947. He and his wife, Esther, created the B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation in 1998 to honor their loyal Greenheck employees by providing ongoing financial support for many local non-profit organizations and community projects. Today, their family carries on Bernie’s and Esther’s legacy of giving back to the Wausau area by awarding grants to help improve the quality of life for area residents.

“Creating a best-in-class YMCA in downtown Wausau that will serve so many people in our community, from infants to older adults, is a building project we found very easy to embrace,” said Pam Jackson, executive director of the foundation (and granddaughter of Bernie and Esther Greenheck.) “Early Childhood Development is vital, and we are thrilled to help meet this important community need by funding what will be an extraordinary new child care center at the Y.”

“My grandparents loved this community, and I know they would be proud to see how their foundation continues to contribute to its growth. They believed in supporting projects that brought the community together, and that’s why we decided to offer a $500,000 matching grant as well. We hope this inspires others to make a donation to this exciting downtown development project.”

Judd S. Alexander Foundation

The $1.5 million donation from the Judd S. Alexander Foundation will help fund the new, state-of-the-art health and wellness center at the Woodson YMCA. The new wellness center will combine comprehensive strength, cardio, stretching and personal training space in one location. The Judd S. Alexander Foundation was formed in 1973 by Anne Alexander to honor her late husband, Judd Alexander, a strong supporter of the Wausau community until his death in 1948. Judd and his father, Walter Alexander, were members of the legendary Wausau Group that played a significant role in diversifying and expanding Wausau’s economy from the early 1900s through the 1940s. The legacies of community development established by Judd Alexander and Anne Alexander continue today through their foundation.

“On behalf of the Judd S. Alexander Foundation and our board of directors, we are delighted to help support this amazing modernization and expansion project at the Woodson YMCA,” stated Gary Freels, president and CEO of the foundation. “We believe this undertaking will contribute greatly to the future economic development of Wausau and the health and wellness of our residents. Judd and Anne Alexander would be proud to know the community they cherished is continuing to thrive.”

Chad Kane, chair of the Woodson YMCA’s 2018 Capital Campaign, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to both foundations for their support.

“These generous contributions from the B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation and the Judd S. Alexander Foundation move us closer to our goal of delivering a best-in-class YMCA in the heart of Wausau to serve the health and wellness needs of the community,” he said. “To honor this extraordinary support, our new child care center will proudly bear the name of the B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation and the state-of-the-art Judd S. Alexander Wellness Center will help our members and guests build healthier lives.”

In addition to an expanded child care facility and wellness center, the Woodson YMCA project will add:

  • a new older adult activity center funded entirely by the Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation,

  • a new field house predominantly funded by Aspirus,

  • a new gymnastics area,

  • increased parking, and other improvements to the existing facility.

More details about the Woodson YMCA’s modernization and expansion project are available at www.strengtheningourheart.com.

September 5, 2018

WAUSAU, Wis. A $3 million donation from the Nancy Woodson Spire Foundation to the Woodson YMCA modernization and expansion project was announced today. It’s part of the $16 million that’s already been pledged to the $19 million project in downtown Wausau.

The late Nancy Woodson Spire was a daughter of Aytchmonde P. Woodson and Leigh Yawkey Woodson, longtime supporters of the Wausau Woodson YMCA. Nancy Woodson’s son, Steve Spire and his wife, Marti, are Honorary Chairs for the 2018 Woodson YMCA Capital Campaign.

“Over the past 80 years, the Woodsons and Spires have always been first in line to support the growth and development of the Woodson YMCA, and we are extremely pleased to participate in the exciting modernization and expansion project that’s underway now,” stated Jack Garniewski, chairman of the Nancy Woodson Spire Foundation. “The Woodson YMCA is a precious resource in our community, and we applaud the local leaders and donors throughout the community who are stepping up to make our Y one of the very best in the country.”

“This extraordinary contribution from the Nancy Woodson Spire Foundation presents a major step towards reaching our goal of delivering a thriving, best-in-class YMCA in the heart of Wausau to serve the health and wellness needs of residents of all ages,” said Chad Kane, chair of the Y’s 2018 Capital Campaign. “Many generous members of the Woodson family have been supporters of the downtown Y for decades, and we will be honoring their unrivaled generosity by placing their name at the vibrant entrance to the newly-renovated and expanded Woodson YMCA.”

Kane emphasized that approximately $3 million in additional donations from the public will be needed to complete the YMCA modernization and expansion project. Online donations can be made at www.strengtheningourheart.com or checks made payable to the Woodson YMCA Foundation can be mailed to the Woodson YMCA, 707 Third Street, Wausau, WI 54403

The Woodson YMCA project will add:

  • a new older adult activity center funded entirely by the Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation,

  • a new field house predominantly funded by Aspirus,

  • enhanced child care services for infants and toddlers,

  • a new gymnastics area,

  • a new wellness center that offers both cardio and strengthening activities,

  • increased parking, and other improvements to the existing facility.

More details about the Woodson YMCA’s modernization and expansion project are available at www.strengtheningourheart.com.

August 28, 2018

Collaboration will create multigenerational health and wellness campus

Community leaders and philanthropists today announced plans for a $40 million health and wellness campus to be developed in downtown Wausau. The overarching plan involves broad support from local foundations, businesses and individuals, and includes three primary components:

  • Extensive modernization and expansion of the Woodson YMCA.

  • Construction of an activity center for adults 55 and older.

  • Development of a new Aspirus Clinic, which will be connected to the YMCA.

Chad Kane, president of the Woodson YMCA Foundation and WoodTrust Bank, described a vision in which Wausau residents of all ages could access beneficial programs and services when they are healthy, ill, or recovering.

“This is an innovative model for community wellness,” Kane said. “It expands and modernizes the YMCA’s popular facilities and services; adds a new center where older, active adults can engage in a range of physical, educational, social and recreational activities; and develops a new Aspirus clinic that connects health experts through programming and proximity.”

Project organizers have purchased properties to the north and west of the Woodson YMCA, and demolition and site clearing is underway. The final details of the downtown health and wellness campus have not been cemented, as organizers seek approval to re-route short sections of street, and the YMCA Foundation launches the public phase of its capital campaign.

YMCA Seeks Additional Donations

While the Senior Center and Aspirus Clinic components of the health and wellness campus are already fully funded, the YMCA modernization and expansion is still in need of public support. The modernization project will enhance child care services, expand the gymnastics area, create a new wellness center that offers both cardio and strengthening activities, increase parking, and improve traffic flow within the existing facility. The total cost of the YMCA initiative is $19 million, and many foundations and individuals have already made generous commitments. To complete the fundraising and ensure that this project is fully realized, the Woodson YMCA Foundation today is launching a six-week public campaign called Strengthening the Heart of Our Community.

“The successful silent portion of the campaign has resulted in pledges totaling $16 million, yet additional community support from businesses and residents is needed to complete the full YMCA project,” Kane said. “I’m confident we can meet our total goal with the help of our Y members and other donors who support the Y’s strong commitment to enhancing the quality of life in our community.”

In the near future, YMCA leaders will share stories of the generous donors supporting the project. Online donations can be made at www.strengtheningourheart.com or checks made payable to the Woodson YMCA Foundation can be mailed to the Woodson YMCA, 707 Third Street, Wausau, WI 54403.

The Senior Center

One of the key new features of the downtown health and wellness campus will be a 15,000-square-foot activity center for adults 55 and older, directly connected to the Woodson YMCA. The center is being fully funded by a grant from the Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation.

“The strong commitment of the Y leadership to offer best-of-class, life-enrichment experiences for seniors, coupled with the Y’s longstanding success in its work, give us confidence that the community will be well-served by our investment,” said Dwight Davis, president of the foundation, in a statement. “The Davis Foundation is pleased to support this new vision for creating a wellness campus that serves all Wausau’s generations.”

New Aspirus Clinic

Aspirus is a strong supporter of the YMCA modernization and expansion project, and is predominantly funding a new field house with gymnasium, running track and viewing area.

“For years, we have collaborated closely with the YMCA because we believe in the excellent wellness and lifestyle services they provide to the community,” said Matthew Heywood, president and CEO of Aspirus. “As we discussed the expansion and modernization of the Woodson YMCA, it became clear that this community could do something truly innovative to benefit the health and wellness of everyone in the Wausau area.”

The Aspirus Board approved the construction of a new clinic, which will be located next to the Woodson YMCA and connected by a skywalk. The clinic will provide primary and walk-in care, as well as imaging and laboratory services. While the design has not yet been finalized, Heywood said the facility will be about 36,000 square feet and cost about $20 million to build.

A Resource to Benefit All

Downtown Wausau has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, and the construction of a health and wellness campus will drive additional improvements that all residents can enjoy. Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke is an enthusiastic supporter of the project.

“We believe this project will create one of the nation’s best comprehensive wellness resources that will serve Wausau for generations to come,” Mielke said. “From infants to older adults, the entire community will have access to integrated resources to stay active and healthy, and local businesses will have a tremendous new tool for retaining and recruiting employees.”