Sertoma Club honors director, program manager at China Spring Youth Camp |

Sertoma Club honors director, program manager at China Spring Youth Camp

Staff reports

The Carson Valley Sertoma Club held its awards night at the Carson Valley Inn on Friday evening, March 19.

At this event, the club presented its “Service to Mankind” award, Sertoma’s number one recognition of a citizen of the community who contributes outstanding public service.

This year, two individuals share this honor, Steve Thaler, director, and Tom Umphries, program manager, of the China Spring Youth Camp facility.

“These gentlemen, both of whom had been deputy sheriffs for the county, have been instrumental in the camp’s outstanding participation in an array of public service locally for a number of years,” said Sertoma spokesperson Al Tovey.

These include the repairing of bicycles for Project Santa Claus, sod-laying for the parks and recreation department, lawn care at the Historical Society’s museum and cultural Center and other locations. Several service clubs have benefitted from the assisted labor provided by the youth at China Spring at barn dances, as well as the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, March of Dimes and the Family Support Council.

“Under the guidance of Tom and Steve, these young people have been involved in the cleanup of Genoa cemetery, animal control facility and the trash dump. Their efforts have been a tremendous contribution to the well-being of our community since 1995,” Tovey said.

Steve Thaler, a Marine Corps veteran, and his wife Jo Ann have three children.

Tom Umphries served 12 years with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. He and his wife Shirley have three children and one grandchild.

These men and their wives received a standing ovation by the assembled Sertomans, families and friends, as did Pat Cardinal, chosen by the club as Sertoman of the Year.

“She is an enthusiastic and tireless worker at all club functions. Pat is employed at REMAX Realty, married to husband Ray and mother of two sons,” Tovey said.

Cardinal is the president-elect of the club for next year, the first woman to attain the office.

She has a flawless attendance record for five years and holds two associate of arts degrees in business and management. Her other community involvements include liturgy committee at St. Gall Catholic Church, a reading mentor and volunteer at C.C. Meneley Elementary School and one of the originators of the school’s annual carnival.

“The Carson Valley Sertoma Club is proud to honor these three outstanding citizens,” Tovey said.