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Conlon speaker at Rotary meeting

Mark Olson introduced Frank Conlon, executive director of the James River YMCA, who spoke to Rotary members.

Conlon grew up on a farm near Richardton, N.D., and attended Valley City (N.D.) State University on a football and track scholarship, but was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1971. He served 17 months in Vietnam as part of the elite Army Rangers. After his time in the service he returned to VCSU and finished his education with a double major in English and health/physical education and a minor in journalism. Conlon taught and coached for 32 years; four years in Ashley, N.D., and 28 years at Jamestown High School. During the summers he worked at Stutsman County Corrections prior to retiring from teaching in 2008. Then he spent the next five years working full time for SCCC and the U.S. Marshals Service. In August he was hired as the YMCA executive director.

Conlon discussed the services the Y provides in the community, such as the Learning Center, the newly remodelled cardio fitness center and Fitness on Demand room. The Y also has two golf simulators for the golfer, swimming and a running track. The gym has three basketball courts and there are two handball/Wallyball courts and the free weights area. The Y offers child watch for parents as they work out from 9 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. This is a free service to members, Conlon said. “Battle Ropes” and Boot Camp workouts are available, so people interested should check with the staff at the Y for more details.

Carrie Orn presided at the meeting, Nick Schmidt gave the table blessing, Gary Riffe and Jackie Tewes led the group in singing Christmas songs, and Bob Badal collected numerous “Happy Dollars” for the Salvation Army. The collection was more than $150. Dr. Jerrod Hann was a guest of Nick Schmidt; Rotary District Gov. Dave Smette also attended the meeting. Smette has been busy traveling the Rotary District the summer and fall and only has two clubs left to visit.

Student guests for December are MacKenzie Gerszewski, a senior at JHS, and the daughter of Steve and Kristi Gerszewski. Teagan Skunberg is a junior at JHS and the daughter of Eric and Julie Skunberg.

Today’s meeting is a special Christmas dinner with spouses and guests with music provided by the Lefevre sisters; Joan Morris will give the invocation and Nick Schmidt is the sergeant-at-arms. The next Rotary meeting will be Jan. 7.