Meet a Westsider:
Merv Bennett

Profession/Occupation... President/ CEO of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.

What I like most about the Westside is... I love many things about the Westside. The restaurants, hiking trails, the wildlife, and the friendliness and “small-town” atmosphere.

If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be... I would like to be closer to our church (on the east side). I would also like to have a Lowe’s or Home Depot closer. I would also like to find deer that actually know “deer resistant plants” are not to eat.

A good movie I’ve seen recently is... “Slum Dog Millionaire.” It was unique and very well presented to tell a powerful story.

I'd like to discover... a way to facilitate all people to engage in living a healthy lifestyle. It would result in the resolution of many issues such as chronic disease, poor student achievement, etc.

If I could meet someone famous, I’d like to meet... Former President George W. Bush. No president is perfect, but he is a man of principle and kept our country safe during difficult times and harsh (sometimes appropriate, often inappropriate) criticism. I admire people who stand on principle and not on popularity.

The next time I travel, I’m going to... Wichita, Kansas, to visit our daughter and son-in-law who are both serving in the Air Force. We just returned from South America and enjoy international travel.

My favorite childhood memory is... growing up in La Junta. I would saddle up my horse and ride the river bottom of the Arkansas River with my dog following along. I get sentimenal every time I hear the old song, “Don’t Fence Me In.”

My favorite summer pastime is... I prefer summer and fall for fishing reasons. My dog Mike and I hunt duck in the fall. That is his favorite season because he is better at retrieving ducks than fish.

Something good I’ve read is.. “The Shack” – a good book that challenges me to view my faith from a more inclusive prespective.

My pet peeve is... people that throw cigarette butts and gum on the ground and sidewalk.

If I didn’t have to work for a year I would... Spend at least half the year in service to my church, YMCA Camp Shady Brook and the International YMCA. The rest of the time I would spend with my family.

Meet a Westsider” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you would like to be a Meet-a-Westsider (or know someone who should be), please give us a call at 471-6776.