Originally from Spencer, Nebraska, Troy Ruda is today making his home in Eustis (pop. 375). He says the advantages of living in a small community were evident to him as a kid and he always dreamed of raising his own family in a similar environment. “We are living everything we could possibly dream right here in our wonderful community of Eustis,” said Ruda.
But the best thing about living in Eustis? Pride and togetherness. Ruda says he feels it any time he is serving his role of chair of the Eustis Area Community Foundation Fund.
The Fund has reason to feel especially proud these days. The group has just completed its most ambitious project to date—a 3,500 square foot indoor wellness center. Over $600,000 has been raised including a $25,000 ongoing maintenance fund for future needs. The desire for a wellness center was identified in 2014 through a community survey and soon after, community groups, local organizations, and the school began working on the details.
Everyone chipped in to make the project a reality—from local businesses, to committed community members, to a high school youth group called E-Unit which was awarded a $7,500 matching grant from an anonymous Nebraska Community Foundation donor to benefit the project. The state-of-the-art center aims to serve every person that made it possible with a flat-surface walking track, ample space for fitness classes, stationary cardio machines, and a fully equipped weight room and specialized equipment that is used frequently by local student athletes.
The completed facility has become a symbol of what ambitious people who love their community can accomplish. The hope is that not only will the wellness center serve as an amenity for those who currently live in Eustis—it might also attract other families, like the Rudas, who are looking for an extraordinary place to call home.