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Fun Run: Challenge goes out to former YMCA employees

WORTHINGTON -- The challenge is going out to former Worthington Area YMCA employees.

Al Baloun, a longtime baseball and softball umpire and one-time YMCA employee, is offering to personally contact former YMCA employees to challenge them to take part in the 2013 Fun Run to help Wayne Klumper and his family.

Persons who pay the $23 sign-up fee for the July 31 event ($25 for non-members) will see $10 of it set aside to help Klumper and his family with expenses resulting from a serious June 25 motorcycle accident. Klumper, who served the Y for 32 years and helped bring the Fun Run into existence, is engaged in a lengthy recovery process at the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.

"I just came up with the idea that I thought it'd be neat that any employee who worked with Wayne during his tenure could be encouraged to participate," said Baloun. "Wayne was very influential in inspiring me to go into recreation."

Baloun began his association with the Worthington YMCA working behind the front desk in 1978. Klumper got him involved in officiating the following year.

Today, Baloun umpires high school baseball and fast-pitch softball games in the area. He has worked state softball tournaments and national junior tournaments. He said he has not run a race since high school other than a few 5K walks, but he's jumping at the chance to help out a friend.

"(Wayne) made me realize how fun it is to work with people in the recreation field," Baloun said.

After reading a July 6 article in the Daily Globe reporting the Fun Run donation plan, Baloun decided not only to participate in the event himself, but also to issue a challenge.

Anyone who can help him locate and contact former YMCA employees are asked to contact Baloun at (507) 822-4638 or (507) 831-0279, or email him at YMCA executive director/CEO Andy Johnson said Tuesday that YMCA staff are also helping to spread the word, and the news of Baloun's challenge was posted on Facebook.

"I want to encourage any former employee to get in touch with me," said Baloun. "This is one activity that we can do to help Wayne and his family."

In an unrelated fundraising development, the Worthington Pizza Ranch will have a Pizza Ranch Community Impact Night Monday from 5-8 p.m. where 20 percent of all purchases will be donated to the Klumper family.