Kristy Bridenhagen was nominated for People of Portage County because of her involvement with adapted recreation at the Stevens Point Area YMCA. She is so incredibly passionate about her job and being part of this community. Kristy is very humble and kind.
She was born and raised in Glendale, Wisconsin. When she moved to Portage County with her family, she was a stay-at-home mom. She ended up getting a membership at the Stevens Point YMCA, shortly after her daughter joined Y gymnastics and naturally Kristy got involved as well.
Two years later. One of the former CEO’s asked if she would be interested in taking over the adapted recreation program. She felt she didn’t have a lot of experience with that, but he said she “had the heart for it”. Three weeks later she attended her first state Special Olympics track & field meet, she saw her first race where the athlete was running a 50-meter dash, he stopped about halfway and started having fun and cheering with the crowd. Tears began to run down her face, and she thought “I’m hooked”. Kristy has now been involved for 15 years. Both gymnastics and adapted recreation. She says it “got into her blood”.
Food - Pasta-a-la-Cheddar—or Macaroni and Cheese
Book - Oh, the Places You’ll Go- Dr. Seuss
Quotes - “The greatest gift you can give someone is your time, because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back” -Anonymous and “Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life”- Designzzz
What makes you happy?
What she is doing right now: being the Adaptive Recreation director at the YMCA, wife, mom. Being involved in the community.
How does living in Portage County influence you?
Coming from a big community to a smaller one, there is a lot more involvement and it has made her a better community member. It’s easier to be involved because we live in such a caring community. She never thought a place could give back as much as it has.
Who’s your hero?
My parent’s-very good role models- wanted to make them proud and be like them, they are very giving.
What can people from the community learn form you?
She hopes to educate inclusion. Accept people for who they are. People are people first. Everyone should be treated equally.