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April 20th is Bobby Fitzgerald Day

April 20th will be Bobby Fitzgerald Day at the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA.

A YMCA member who visited the North Coalter Street facility daily, Fitzgerald’s disappearance in 2012 made national news.

A 60-year-old outdoorsman in extraordinary shape, Fitzgerald has been missing since returning to Shenandoah Mountain’s Confederate Breastworks Trail to retrieve a cell phone he lost on a hike.

Recently, Fitzgerald’s family decided that the reward money raised for information on Fitzgerald’s case should be dedicated to his favorite organization – the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA.

Rhonda Shinaberry, associate executive director of the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA, said Fitzgerald used to come in around 4:00 pm every day, as soon as he got off of work.

“I just remember how quiet he was, how soft-spoken he was, and how kind he was,” Shinaberry said. “He’d always come by my door on his way back to the locker room or where he was going and wave.”

News of Fitzgerald’s disappearance rocked the YMCA.

“I just remember thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, I hope everything’s OK with Bobby,’” Shinaberry said. “I remember members who were here in the building having the same conversations, trying to figure out if there’s anything we should be doing to help.”

Shinaberry felt overwhelmed at the family’s act of generosity on Fitzgerald’s behalf.

“My reaction to what the family wanted to do was, ‘That’s amazing,’” the associate executive director said. “My reaction to the whole thing is that this feels so final.”

Fitzgerald was born on April 20th, and that’s how the date for the day commemorating him was chosen. There will be a short ceremony at 11:00 am on that day to commemorate his life.

“We’re just remembering how important Bobby was,” Shinaberry said. “He was very important to us.”

WHO:  The YMCA community and Friends of Bobby Fitzgerald
WHAT: Bobby Fitzgerald Day
WHERE: Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA, 708 North Coalter St, Staunton, VA 24401
WHEN: 11:00 am, April 20th

 

 

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