When John Nixon invited then-YMCA Executive Director Dick Fullmer to his office several years ago, Nixon asked Fullmer to bring a list of Y needs.
Fullmer figured Nixon would donate $50,000 to $75,000.
Nixon told him he was looking for a request in the $500,000 range. And that’s what the Y wound up getting — plus another $75,000 later for the Miller Pool project.
“I was flabbergasted!” Fullmer recalled in email interviews. “I thought I was in 7th Heaven that afternoon; I was floating on Cloud 9 for a couple of weeks!”
Having worked for Nixon for almost 30 years, I knew about his generosity, especially when it involved people like Richard Fullmer, who wore integrity during his 17 years in Miami County.
The Nixon donation went toward the Nautilus room, an upstairs dance studio, a steam room, some major cosmetic changes in the ladies fitness center and a gift to the YMCA Endowment Fund.
“My greatest accomplishment during my 17 years at the YMCA in Peru was keeping our head above the water for most of those years,” Fullmer said. “A Y in a small town needs a solid membership base and lots of contributions.”
Now 66, Toledo-born Fullmer is back in Lima, Ohio, where he was raised. He and his wife, Cheryl, returned after he retired June 15, 2011.
But Fullmer’s still doing his thing.
He served as the interim executive director of the YMCA in Bellfontaine, Ohio, for four months in 2011-2012. And in June he will finish a five-month stint as interim CEO for the Milan, Tennessee, YMCA.
Fullmer also works for Ohio Northern University as a transportation specialist, driving students to or from airports in Detroit, Columbus and Dayton. This is usually at the beginning or end of a semester, when students are going home or returning to school. “I enjoy this because of the opportunity to interact with students from all over the world,” Fullmer says. “I have driven students from Japan, Korea, Brazil and Mexico.”