WAUSAU — The B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation has contributed a $1 million donation and a $500,000 matching grant and the Judd S. Alexander Foundation has donated $1.5 million to the Woodson YMCA modernization and expansion project.

Both donations are part of the $16 million that has already been pledged to the $19 million YMCA project in downtown Wausau, the YMCA announced last week.

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, according to a YMCA news release. The matching grant of up to $500,000 will double any donations received through the public fundraising campaign, Strengthening the Heart of Our Community.

Roughly $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 St., Wausau, WI 54403

Bernie Greenheck co-founded Greenheck Fan Corp. 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 nonprofit organizations and community projects. T

“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) in the news release. “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.”

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,” said Gary Freels, president and CEO of the foundation in the news release. “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.”

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.