LEXINGTON – David City native Jim Hain started started his career as a physical therapist in Grand Island at a Lutheran hospital, when longtime friend, Dr. Mark Jones, was moving back to Lexington and convinced Hain and his wife to move to the Dawson County area in September of 1980.
“At that time we were just starting a family and thought that Lexington would be a good place to start a family,” Hain said. “We didn’t know anybody out here when we arrived except the Jones family. We moved out here and we’ve been here ever since.”
Hain has worked with Tri-County Hospital as a physical therapist for the past 30 years, but as of recently, has taken a new position as the Chief Operating Officer of the hospital.
One of Hain’s loves that has kept him close to the school that his three daughters, Shelly, Katie and Lindsey, graduated from is the tennis program.
Hain was a coach for the 2003 Class B girls’ tennis state championship team, the only tennis team state championship in the school’s history.
“That was really a good feeling,” Hain said. “We were close a lot of years, getting second one year and third another, but to actually win the whole thing was neat.”
Along with Troy Saulsbury, Hain puts together a tennis tournament that has been going strong in the Lexington community for over 30 years, the annual Labor Day tennis tournament.
Families and avid tennis lovers from around the state flock to Lexington over the Labor Day weekend and take part in the three-day event.
“People are impressed with the family atmosphere that the tournament brings, “ Hain said. “Also people who have been to Lexington and have participated in the tournament now are bringing their kids and their kids are now playing in it.”
Many of the tennis players who play during the summer and fall leagues brag about the beautiful facility that the city has added in recent years at Plum Creek Park near Lexington High School.
Hain especially, takes pride in the facilities.
“The City really has done a nice job with our facilities and we’re really proud of that,” Hain said. “Many towns are envious of us because we have such nice facilities for tennis.”
On the other side of the spectrum, Hain has seen first-hand what it’s like for those less fortunate and have gone through horrific times.
A few months ago, Hain, along with a few other colleagues, took time out of their busy schedule to assist victims of the Haiti earthquake that took place in January 2010.
The experience for him and the others was ‘awe-inspiring.’
“We take our blessings and gifts for granted here,” Hain said. “We look at places now like Haiti and Japan and you just can’t imagine the physical hardship that people go through.”
Sometimes, to talk about the experience and to view the damage and destruction that the 7.0-magnitude did is hard. However, the feeling to travel and lend a helping hand was indescribable.
“I find it hard to talk about because it’s a humbling experience,” Hain said. “It just felt good to do that and I’ll go back again.”
In the community, Hain is also a long-time member of the Lexington Optimist group, where he has been a firm supporter of the Punt, Pass and Kick competitions as well as Operation: Santa Claus.
Also, Hain is a member of the Knights of Columbus, where he is currently the outgoing Grand Knight. The Grand Knight means that Hain is the head of the local Knights of Columbus chapter in Lexington, but is resigning his duties at the end of his term.
Anyone who has lived here as long as Hain and his family has will know that the people are what make Lexington a special place to live in.
“I just think is a great opportunity to really understand diversity,” Hain said. “I think the people here are very friendly. I like the idea that there is a variety of things to do.”
With Hain wanting to do so many things in the community, the biggest challenge for him is prioritizing all the projects he wants to accomplish.
“It’s a struggle because I never feel like I’m bored,” Hain laughed. “I think the challenge part is how to prioritize all the things I want to get done.”
For the future of Lexington, Hain would like to see local business and the economy keep improving.
“We’ve got some great people here who are constantly looking at improving our economy, and I think that’s good, “ Hain said. “I think I see good things for the future of Lexington with all of these things we already have in place.”
To get to know one’s neighbor, Hain believes it’s as simple as turning the TV and computer off and spending more time outside.
“Shut the TV off, get outside and meet them,” Hain said. “We’ve adverted more to technology and I don’t see a lot of kids outside and playing in their yard like they used to. I think we need to make more of an attempt to get out and know your neighbor.”
When not devoting time to community projects, Hain is devoting time to his three grandchildren and is thrilled for grandchild number four that is on the way
There has been no thoughts of ever leaving the Lexington area for Hain and his family. He and his wife, Jeanette, have moved from town to Johnson Lake, where he suspects that’s as far as they will go.
“My wife really likes it at the lake,” Hain said. “It’s enjoyable and I like it. I think moving to the lake was possibly the thing that is going to solidify us staying near Lexington.”