Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1214487

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2014

‘I’ve got good news today’

Community Y staff honors Marner with new responsibility
By Xiomara Levsen | Jul 18, 2014
Christopher Marner, third from left, was honored by the Washington Community Y staff with a cake and official name tag on his birthday.

On a Saturday morning Christopher Marner, son of Joann and Stan Marner, had finished his workout at the Washington Community Y.
“He’s here every day working out,” said Diana Hartmann, staff and member receptionist at the Washington Community Y. “He’ll lift weights or swim laps or sometimes on Saturdays he’ll go into the game room or stop by the library and get a couple of books. Then he’ll go up into the game room and watch movies and wait until the Saturday kitchen opens up.”
This is where the idea to have Marner start greeting people came from, Hartmann said. A staff member saw Marner waiting and asked him to start greeting people as they came in.
“We were having swim lessons that morning, so all the kids and parents [were coming in], and it just kind of blossomed from there,” Hartman said.
Since then Marner has become the unofficial greeter at the Washington Community Y, Hartmann said. Every day he’s there welcoming people and greeting them with his smile.
“He’s just so positive for his situation,” said Jean Peiffer, membership director of the YMCA of Washington County. “He just brightens your day.”
Both Peiffer and Hartmann said Marner always has good news to tell everyone when he greets them.
“He’ll always say, ‘I’ve got good news today,’” Hartman said.
“Or ‘I’m happy today,’” Peiffer said.
On Wednesday, the Washington Community Y helped Marner celebrate his birthday.
“We heard that his birthday was coming up,” Hartmann said. “Again, one of the staff said ‘Hey, you know, we ought to have a birthday cake for Christopher that day,’ so we did. We took his picture and had the preschool kids come down and sing “Happy Birthday” to him and share his cake with them.”
He was also given a gift.
“We did get him an official Y name tag with his name on it, and he is so very proud of that,” Hartmann said.

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