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Glenda Thomas

Glenda Thomas, pictured Wednesday, is interim CEO of Nerd Family YMCA in Casper. The YMCA hosts its Wall of Honor luncheon this week. 

The Nerd Family YMCA hosts its third Wall of Honor luncheon on Thursday, and the community is welcome. Donations are requested toward the Strong Communities campaign, but there is no ticket charge for the 11:15 a.m. event.

We chatted with interim CEO Glenda Thomas about the event.

You have a new title? Yes, Brent Kleinjan, who was our CEO, has moved back to North Dakota and I am the interim as of last Friday. I’m also working part-time for the Wold family, running the Wold Foundation.

Who are you honoring at the lunch? We have three honorees — the City of Casper, Scott Sissman and Bobbie and Dick Lisco (both posthumously).

The partnership between the YMCA and the city started in the 1950s, when city leaders were looking for more recreational opportunities for community members. The city then set aside the 7-acre parcel of land south of downtown to build the original Y. Most recently, the city allocated $2 million from 1-cent funds to help with needed infrastructure that were critical to the completion of the new Y in January 2017.

Scott is the second generation in his family to be heavily involved as a contributor and user of the Y. His father, Clyde W. Sissman, was an original board member. Scott is at the Y exercising most mornings and has been a Y member for over 60 years.

The Liscos were active community volunteers and philanthropists during their lives. Dick was an active fundraiser and major gifts co-chair for the Y’s expansion in the late 1970s. Bobbie was board secretary and spent countless hours volunteering. Growing up in the neighborhood, the entire Lisco family participated at the Y.

And you are honoring a volunteer of the year as well? Yes, Konrad Kriegh is a member of the board of directors and a longtime Y member. He works for BNSF Railroad and is incredibly handy. He loves to come in and donate his time and his tools to anything that needs done and he also comes in and works out every day.

Do you need reservations to attend the Thursday lunch? Yes, please RSVP Monday or Tuesday at the latest so we have enough food. Just call the front desk at 234-9187. The buffet is from Cottage Cafe and we’d love for folks to be able to come at 11:15 to lunch and mingle so we can start the program at noon and have everybody back to work by 1 p.m.

And the money raised at the luncheon is critical. This is for our operations campaign. We gave over $400,000 in member scholarships last year, which equates to one in five members being scholarshipped to be here. The Y’s goal is to not turn anyone away based on their ability to pay. We had over 100,000 visits last year, that’s 100,000 times people are making healthy choices for their families and themselves.

And you have good news about the Phase I financing? We have completely paid off the entire Phase I campaign from the new building that opened in January 2017. We made final payments earlier this year and that goes to the huge support of donors in this community who believe in the Y’s mission and cause and providing a place for so many people.

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Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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