Thank you Terry Bendhardi

Thank you Terry Benhardt

To the Editor:

Terry Benhardt moved to Connecticut recently and I thought you should know.

“Who’s Terry Benhardt?” some will ask. Well, for the past 20 years, Terry has been the president of the Merrimack Youth Association Executive Board and if your kids have been involved in any MYA activities in that time, you owe Terry a debt of thanks.

It was under Terry’s leadership that the MYA grew to become a model for an all-volunteer community youth sports program and one of the real positives that make Merrimack a great place to live.

When Terry assumed office 20 years ago, MYA was little more than a loose collection of rival tribes motivated by self-interest. Terry introduced organization, process and accountability and convinced the programs that with strong central governance, the MYA could be much greater than the sum of its parts. He was right.

With the benefit of Terry’s wisdom, energy and incalculable time commitment, the MYA has become a vital Merrimack resource and an essential part of the fabric of our community. Existing programs have grown and flourished and new programs have been added to provide even more opportunity to Merrimack kids and families. Patient, reasonable and respectful even when enduring the slings and arrows from those who questioned the mission of the MYA, Terry has been a strong and steady voice for the many volunteers who make the programs work. Terry’s contributions to our town extend beyond the MYA as well. The skate park, efforts to develop a teen center and dozens of other initiatives all bear Terry’s fingerprints.

The MYA succeeds according to a simple formula: A lot of people do a little and a few people do a lot. There are very few who have done as much for the MYA as Terry. In fact, I can’t think of any.

Thanks, Terry.

TOM MCDONOUGH

Merrimack