Ofelia Bringas Memorial Bridge Dedication Ceremony a Moving Tribute to Community Pillar

City leaders, residents, family members and Representatives Raul Ruiz and Mike Levin celebrated the dedication of the Ofelia Bringas Memorial Bridge on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. During the program, the city unveiled a plaque and artwork celebrating her life and accomplishments.

Cathedral City High School student Mariah Hernandez sang the National Anthem before the ceremony, followed by remarks from:

  • Cathedral City Mayor Ernesto Gutierrez
  • DeeAnn Hopings, Chair, Cathedral City Public Arts Commission
  • Raul Ruiz, U.S. Representative for CA-36
  • Mike Levin, U.S. Representative for CA-49
  • Henry Bringas, Son of Ofelia Bringas

A youth counselor who devoted her entire career to bringing available resources to those in need, Bringas was a pillar for this community. She supported thousands of families in the Coachella Valley struggling with childcare, poverty, food scarcity, and language barriers.

Bringas began her career helping youth by working for the 4-H Open Campus at Agua Caliente Elementary School located in her neighborhood of Dream Homes. She knew that to change the trajectory of poor children getting involved in gangs, she needed to offer recreational activities that caught their attention while also instilling a sense of hope and opportunity.

The need for a bigger organization that offered a safe place for youth to learn, and grow was realized when the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City opened in 1982. Within a few years, Ofelia became its executive director to further implement its educational and recreational programs.

One of her biggest challenges was too much demand and not enough space for all the kids wanting to join. At the time, the organization’s clubhouse could only hold 80 individuals and she needed a much bigger building for hundreds of children.

Thanks to her persistent work, private and corporate donations, and a $250,000 California Youth Advisory grant, a new gymnasium and youth center was built in 1993 on Whispering Palms Drive where the Club operates today. The new facility allowed for hundreds of children to participate in after-school and summer programs. Ofelia Bringas continued being the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City well into her early 70s, finally retiring in 2003. You can read her biography on the city’s website here.

The bridge itself has already improved safety on Cathedral Canyon with a new 4-lane all-weather bridge, over the Whitewater River. During heavy rains, this low water crossing would frequently be closed to through traffic. This bridge is resolving that issue for the many residential and commercial neighborhoods north of the Whitewater River. It improves traffic safety, accessibility, and traffic flow. Click here to learn more about the project.


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Ryan Hunt

View posts by Ryan Hunt
Communications & Events Manager RHunt@cathedralcity.gov 760-770-0396
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