Eleven years ago, less than 6,000 people lived in Our Town Holdrege.
And traditionally, a population of 25,000 is needed to start a YMCA.
Fortunately, there was a persistent group of people that wouldn't take no for an answer.
The YMCA of the Prairie proved to be the exception to that 25,000 people rule. And that's because of enthusiastic members like Rich
Watson, "It's one of the most important places in my life, I don't know what Holdrege would do without it. I honestly don't know what people did prior to the Y being here to stay fit. I don't want to stop. I can't stop."
CEO Jeff Morgan says it's that kind of passion that's boosted the YMCA's growth over the past decade, "We've come a long ways. We've grown far beyond what we thought we would. They tell you when you open a Y you'll double in size and we've done that and more."
Jessica Sundquist views the Y as one of the main social hubs in town, "There's tons of people here all the time so even if you wanted to just come for the social aspect you could. I don't think everybody realizes how fortunate we are in a town the size of Holdrege to have the facilities that we have."
Jeff adds, "It's drawn people to our community. I've seen that since I've been here and also it keeps people here too. They want to live in a community that has a place like this that they can go not just for the exercise but they can meet people that they wouldn't normally meet at their job or church."
There is a lot to love at the YMCA of the Prairie and because of some very generous donors, every single person in this city has the opportunity to be a member at the Y. Jeff says nearly 4,000 of the 9,000 people in Phelps County are members at the Y.