Leadership, vision, persistence, and optimism. Many Oshkosh residents have used these words to describe Tom Blaze (pictured far left). Tom was the President and CEO of the Oshkosh Community YMCA, recently retiring after serving 17 years.
“Tom was responsible for getting the Oshkosh YMCA sustainable and profitable in the long run. Tom knew that he needed to develop and hire the right people in order to do this. When he knew retirement was on the horizon, he and his leadership team worked hard to develop the staff to understand and really live the Y mission of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Knowing that the Y was in such a great position to continue to serve the community, Tom knew they had the right staff to take over once he was gone,” says Joan Woldt, past chair of the Oshkosh Community YMCA.
Woldt asked her fellow board members, “How do you send off someone who has done so much for the organization and community?” To honor Tom and the impact he made on the YMCA and the community, the YMCA board of directors decided to establish the Tom Blaze Fund, a donor-advised fund, that will allow Tom to donate to the organizations and programs he cares about most.
While Tom has chosen to venture to a new community for retirement, the fund will ensure that he remains connected to the community he so passionately loves