After 25 years serving as a lieutenant at the Western District of the Baltimore City police department, Glenn Egbert retired not knowing exactly what life would bring him next. After being a cop for that long, he had certainly earned a bit of rest. However, Glenn is not the “retiring” sort. So, he started going to the old Towson Y first thing every morning in 1987, to get in his workout. That soon let to an unexpected but longer-term job that has really become his avocation for the past thirty years.
“I used to come very early,” Glenn reports, “and the manager at the Y said if you like getting up early, why don’t you join the team?” So, for the past 30 years, Glenn has been helping to open the Y in Towson (now called the Orokawa Y) at 5:15 a.m. ever since and other than to go to the emergency room, he has never called in sick or taken a day off.
When asked what keeps him coming to the Y for the past 30 years, he pointed immediately to, “the people. They have become like family and, of course, the mission.” Glenn also told us that “as long as I can get up in the morning and make it into work, I’ll keep coming.”
Of course, dedication like this deserves special recognition and I was honored to be able to personally thank Glenn and give him the following letter as a small token of our deep appreciation for his work.
I understand that you are celebrating a tremendous milestone, this being your thirtieth year of service to the Y and to this community! What an incredible gift you have been to so many people over three decades, helping them get and stay fit, become members of the Y community and achieve a greater sense of confidence and well-being!
Most people are fortunate enough to have one successful career, but you’ve proven that it’s possible to have two great, important careers, both of which involve immeasurable contributions to the social good and to enhancing the quality of life for all of us!
On a personal level, I can honestly tell you that seeing you at the Y always makes me feel good. You are the embodiment of the Y’s values, and you convey those values in every interaction you have, with great spirit, optimism and generosity. I feel very privileged to be able to call you a colleague, and I know that it’s you and several of your long-serving fellow associates who make the Y the unique community that it is. You are a role model for so many, whether you realize it or not. I can only imagine the number of people, whether Y associates, members or volunteers, who you have had a deep and lasting impact on, and whose view of what the Y is all about has been indelibly shaped by who you are and how you treat others. The great Yiddish term “mensch” seems to have been tailor-made for you!
So, please accept my congratulations for your incredible and highly valued service to the Y, and happy 80th birthday as well! I hope that there are many more Y milestones and birthdays ahead!
All the best,
Glenn, we’re honored you’ve chosen to wake up in the morning to be a part of our Y family for the last 30 years. While your job title may be Y Trainer and FitCoach, what you really are is a superhero to your community. I know I speak for the thousands of people whose lives you’ve helped improve and who enjoy seeing your warm and friendly face each day, that we hope you will continue to start your day at the Y for many more years into the future
All the best,