The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 12, 2012

Pittsburg YMCA supporters recognized

From staff reports

PITTSBURG, Kan. — About 240 supporters of the Pittsburg Family YMCA gathered Wednesday night at Memorial Auditorium to celebrate the organization’s 125th birthday and to witness the induction of 10 longtime supporters into the Pittsburg Family YMCA Hall of Fame.

Inductees included:

• O. Gene Bicknell, who played an instrumental role in making the current building a reality and led the campaign to build the fitness center in 1999.

• Peggy Bennett, who began teaching Slimnastics at the former YMCA location in 1966 and has not missed a membership drive since 1967.

• Dick Coleman, who has served several terms on the board of directors and is a member of the YMCA Heritage Club.

• Bob Dittmann, who has worked on numerous capital campaigns and was a member of the noontime basketball group for 50 years.

• Jack Overman, who has been a continuous member of the YMCA for 87 years and was named Volunteer of the Year in 1996.

• George Pitzer, who for more than 40 years has been one of the YMCA’s supporters and has been a Century member for 30 years.

Inductees honored posthumously were Roberta McNay, who was a youth benefactor for 30 years and served as president in 2002; Ed McNally, who helped get the current building built and at one time paid for 50 of his employees’ memberships; Arthur Robb, who served on the board for several terms and wrote a history of the YMCA for its 100th anniversary; and L.L. “Bob” Tracy, who served as president three times, was on the endowment committee and was chairman of the membership drive.

Guest speaker for the event was Bobby Bell, a two-time All-American tackle from Minnesota and the first Kansas City Chief to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joe Hart, a lifelong member, was the master of ceremonies.