Vicki Gallus remembers the day she visited a low-rent, subsidized apartment complex to see a YMCA youth program in action.  A dental hygienist was visiting the program that day, and many of these children had never seen a dentist in their lives. “What fear some of these children had, and all the hygienist wanted to do was count their teeth,” Vicki said. “We realized it is not just four walls and a place to exercise.”

Both Peter and Vicki Gallus first came to the YMCA over 30 years ago for swimming lessons for their son. Today, they are active volunteers, donors and program participants.

Peter serves on the Ridgedale Y Community Board, and Vicki did so in the past. Meanwhile Pete has become known as “The Wiener Man” at YMCA Camp Christmas Tree, while Vicki helps manage the annual Christmas tree sales to raise money for scholarships to send kids to camp. 

“I retired in 2009 and somehow ended up volunteering at Camp Christmas Tree serving hot dogs and brats to campers and families on family night,” Peter recounted. “I enjoyed it so I went back the next week, and the next week, and the next. Now I go out there almost every week.”

Recently, the Gallus’ made another commitment to the Y that will support youth for many years into the future. They included the Y in their wills, making them a part of the YMCA Heritage Club, which brings together visionary members of the community who are building lasting support for the YMCA’s 

“We are fortunate that we are able to contribute financially to the Y while we are alive,” Peter said. “We both feel that it would be nice to continue to support the Y in the future. To accomplish that we have included the Ridgedale YMCA in our wills. We see the impact the Y is having out in the community. We see great programs for children, families and seniors. We see dedicated staff. And we see financial assistance so that everyone can participate.”

“One woman told me that if she didn’t go to the Y, she wouldn’t have another human being to talk to all day,” Vicki added. “It is inspiring to see the impact of the Y on people’s lives, at each stage of life.”

The YMCA Heritage Club brings together visionary members of our community who are building lasting support for the YMCA’s mission by establishing current endowment funds and future gifts in a will, retirement plan or other beneficiary designation. These gifts are a lasting legacy that will impact our community for generations. 

Please contact a YMCA planned giving team member at for more information or to share your giving plans..