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Bennington, Nebraska - Over 20 years ago, Elaine Waugh started working with a personal trainer in New Mexico and became a power lifter at the age of 60. She received first place in a lifting meet two decades ago, and following that victory, she declared that she was hooked. Today, you can find Elaine at the Westview YMCA, working as a coach on the wellness floor and inspiring people of all ages to live healthy, use good form and appropriate lifting techniques, and to “simply enjoy it.”

“There is so much going on in the world,” Elaine said. “You never know what someone is going through. I hope everyone can enjoy the company they hold while staying healthy.”

Senior woman lifting weights

When Elaine was asked how she got connected to the Westview YMCA, she described her experience: “I came in for a tour last July when the YMCA opened, and I asked the Executive Director, Macy Dewispelare, about the racks and platforms. That must have sparked something; I guess there are not many seniors asking about lifting equipment. Macy asked me if I’d be interested in working. She said she had just the job for me. At the time I was retired and was not seriously considering employment at 82 years old, but after a few conversations I joined the YMCA team as a fitness floor wellness coach, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it!”

“The Westview YMCA is unique since it is connected to Westview High School. I get to see the students during my shifts, and I’ve been honored to be given the nick name of ‘grandma’ by many of them. You see for me, that is a sign of respect, credibility and trust. I treat the students the same way I do our adult members, otherwise they will shut down. The kids come from diverse backgrounds, so I enjoy getting to know them, their names and their stories while helping them.”

This July the Westview YMCA is celebrating its one-year anniversary since its grand opening. The Y has become a community hub in northwest Omaha and the Bennington area, with a thriving membership base, youth sports programs, swimming lessons, community-based health offerings and group fitness classes. “From kids to adults, the people and staff have been great,” Elaine said. It is special when I get to connect a senior to one of our SilverSneakers classes, where they meet other members

and are reminded of how strong they are and can be. Everyone is so friendly and it’s a fun environment. The members express so much gratitude when I’m on the fitness floor coaching or cleaning, I really enjoy serving here.”

You can learn more about the Westview YMCA and employment opportunities by visiting


For more information, please contact Jodi Cramer:

About the YMCA of Greater Omaha

The YMCA of Greater Omaha’s roots in the Omaha metropolitan area are woven into the fabric of the community. Founded in 1866 by a Union Pacific employee, the Y first began its impact on the Omaha area as a place to serve young Christian men working on the transcontinental railroad. Since then, the YMCA of Greater Omaha has grown to be a leader in providing first experiences to families, individuals and youth for over 150 years. With 13 locations in the Omaha area, spanning four counties in two states, the YMCA of Greater Omaha works to strengthen communities by offering programs and services in three focus areas: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.