The Kenosha YMCA will celebrate its commitment to strengthening the community at its Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 8, marking the start of its Annual Day of Giving. The event will see hundreds of community volunteers and supporters recognizing several Y-Award recipients.

With a rich history spanning over 90 years in Kenosha, the YMCA awards pay tribute to the founders of the Y and those who continue its legacy. The Nash Award, named for Charles Nash, recognizes outstanding contributions to the Kenosha YMCA community in three areas: Employee, Volunteer, and Business Partner. Among those being honored this year are:

Employee of the Year: Cathie Marlar
Cathie Marlar has devoted over 20 years to the Y, consistently playing a pivotal role in promoting community health. Recognized for leading fitness classes, she boasts a significant following of dedicated participants.

Volunteer of the Year: Kimberly Graba
Kimberly Graba’s journey with the Y took a dramatic turn after a near-death medical incident. With the timely intervention of the Kenosha YMCA staff, she was revived. Today, she reciprocates the goodwill by giving back to the community through her steadfast volunteering.

Business Partner of the Year: Herzing University-Kenosha
Herzing University-Kenosha has established itself as an integral partner to the Y. By providing vital financial backing and resources, the university bolsters the YMCA’s mission, participating in events and advocating for healthy living through volunteers.

Wavro Youth Development Award: Lyra Lefstad and Katelyn Hamilton
Both Lyra Lefstad and Katelyn Hamilton stand out for their enduring commitment to Y programs. More importantly, they exemplify the core Y values: caring, respect, honesty, and responsibility.

Kueny Aquatic Award: Dan Conder
Dan Conder’s passion for swimming traces its roots back to his days at Camp Freeland Leslie Boy Scout Camp (CFL). As a testament to his dedication, he’s projected to swim an astounding 1,000 miles at the Y by the close of the year.

Callahan Healthy Living Award: Vern Trabert and Linda Books
The story of Vern Trabert and Linda Books is both inspiring and heartwarming. Their paths crossed on the walking track at the Y, leading to a blossoming friendship rooted in mutual support. This bond eventually culminated in their marriage.

“I am grateful to our donors that believe in our mission.  They help the Y accomplish so much in our community.  The energy that the  Annual Day of Giving has generated is amazing and I am excited to reach our goal,” said Cindy Altergott, YMCA CEO. This year, the YMCA board and volunteers aim to raise at least $100,000 by year’s end.

The luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Ballroom. Advanced ticket purchase is necessary. For details, visit or call 262-564-6813.