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2024 Award Winners

April 4, 2024

Join us in congratulating the recipients of the 2023 annual awards for their exceptional dedication to strengthening our community through the Y.

🏆 YMCA Healthy Living Award: Jim Benesh, Doug Tanke, Dave Helgerson  

🏆 Nancy Quinlisk Social Responsibility Award: Jim Page  

🏆 Ted Griffin YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award: Paul Bagniefski  

🏆 Dahl Family Youth Development Award: Ivan Bucher

The contributions of time, resources, partnerships, collaborations, and acts of goodwill from these individuals profoundly impact the heart of our community, and we are deeply grateful for their commitment.


View the Annual Report


Healthy Living Award:

The Y is a cause for strengthening communities, committed every day to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

For 140 years, the Y has been a leading voice on health and well-being in our community. With a mission centered on balance, the Y brings families closer together, encourages good health, and fosters connections through fitness, sports, fun, and shared interests. 

As a result, thousands of youth, adults, and families are receiving the support, guidance, and resources needed to achieve greater health and well-being for their spirit, mind, and body.

About Jim, Doug and Dave:

Jim, Doug, and Dave have contributed to the success of our YMCA Maple Leaf Walk Run, one of our largest fundraising events. Their commitment as volunteers has played a crucial role in our achievements. Together, they have dedicated over 40 years of service to the Maple Leaf event. These three volunteers have played an important role in organizing all of the supplies for the aid stations, labeling, sorting, and loading, and ensuring that all participants had access to food, water, and supplies throughout the course. Their dedication to the event is commendable and greatly appreciated.


Ted Griffin Volunteer of the Year Award:

The Ted Griffin Award is named in honor of Ted Griffin who served as the La Crosse Area Family YMCA’s Director from 1942 to 1971.

This award will be given to an individual who has volunteered time, talent, and/or financial gifts to advance the mission of the La Crosse Area Family YMCA. YMCA Board Members and staff members can nominate potential recipients at any time during the year.

About Paul Bagniefski:

We are honored to announce Paul Bagniefski as our esteemed recipient of the 2023 Ted Griffin Award. Paul’s commitment and dedication to the YMCA and our community cause is truly remarkable. His extensive contributions, particularly as Chair of the Business Services Committee and Board Treasurer, have profoundly influenced our organization. Throughout the challenges of the pandemic, Paul’s steady guidance has been instrumental in our financial recovery and ongoing financial health and stability. His leadership, characterized by vision, calmness, and expertise, has made him an invaluable resource to both the YMCA and its CEO. Paul should be proud of the many ways he has contributed to the success of the Y.


Nancy Quinlisk Social Responsibility Award:

This award was established in 1997 in honor of Nancy Quinlisk who has been a dedicated YMCA volunteer for many years. Nancy has been instrumental in developing, implementing and growing many YMCA programs that have improved the health and well-being of people in our community. This award is presented annually to honor an individual or individuals who have volunteered time, talent, or financial resources in order to advance the YMCA’s commitment to social responsibility.

About Jim Page:

A dedicated member of the YMCA, Jim Page has been awarded our 2023 Social Responsibility Award due to his outstanding commitment to helping the community. Jim consistently volunteers his time to support community health workers, offering assistance whenever needed. He generously shares his expertise, such as hosting a free self-defense course at a state community health worker meeting. Furthermore, Jim actively contributes to YMCA charitable events, including the Pumpkins for Coats drive and the holiday food box program. His kindness and willingness to help others were also demonstrated when he assisted in performing CPR on a YMCA member in November.


Dahl Family Youth Development Award:

Named for Ken and Harry Dahl, the driving forces behind the establishment of youth development programs at the Y. This award honors those who provide time, talent, or financial resources in order to advance and strengthen youth development work at the Y.

About Ivan Bucher:

Ivan has been an exceptional parent volunteer in our youth sports programs. For the past two years, he has been a dedicated soccer coach for multiple seasons. His commitment and support were especially evident during my first season as Sports Director, where I saw firsthand his invaluable contributions and support for the program. Ivan consistently went the extra mile, offering assistance and valuable feedback for improving the league. His passion for the sport and commitment to instilling the Y’s core values in the youth he coaches are truly commendable.

-Emma Fox, Youth and Adult Sports Director