Jimmy Bruce — Elk of the Year

ESCANABA – The Escanaba Elks have named Jimmy Bruce as the Elk of the Year. Jimmy is a transplant to the U.P., but has spent the last 58 years living in Escanaba. For 47 of those years Jimmy has been a member of Elks Lodge 354 after his lifelong friends, Chuck and Bo Olsen, sponsored him for membership.

At age 11, Jimmy’s family, Tom, Mary and Tommy Grenfell, moved to Escanaba from his birthplace, Amarillo, Texas. He was fortunate to play on the 1957 Escanaba Little League All Star Team that went to the Little League World Series. After graduating from Northern Michigan University, Jimmy married Sally Hansen in 1965. They raised a family that includes two sons, Tony who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Christopher (Elise) and two grandchildren, Owen, 11, and Kenna, 6, who live in Chapel Hill, NC.

Jimmy’s professional life includes being the first local Head Start Director, a human resources trainer, business consultant, teacher, marketer, banker, business owner, and more. His interest include; tennis, politics, theatre (48 year member of Players de Noc) and family. Jimmy spent several years serving on the Pathways CMH Board and the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center Board. Jimmy and Sally are longtime volunteers for AARP, and currently serve on the Michigan AARP Executive Council.

Over the years of Elk membership, Jimmy has participated in several Lodge activities and programs including; Flag Day, highway clean up, Elk’s Scholarship, Sunday Brunches, Special Olympics, free throw contest, local food bank, and as auctioneer for Ladies Auxiliary Christmas fund-raiser.