Glenn Bunch was named the “Elks Citizen of the Year” for Mineral County during the Elks Instillation of Officers ceremony.
Bunch has lived in Mineral County since the age of five, moving here from California where his father had been employed. He married his high school sweetheart, Marlene, in September of 1965.
He began his volunteerism when he was only 15 years of age, joining Civil Air Patrol – Cadets where he flew in planes and drove the back roads in a Jeep. At the age of 18, he transferred from the cadets to Civil Air Patrol. He would stay with the organization until 1972.
With the addition of three children: Jeri, Gina and Dennis; Bunch found himself volunteering in Little League Baseball, teaching his love of the sport to Mineral County High School Serpents and attending band competition, with all three, of his children.
As Civil Air Patrol began to phase out, a new search and rescue group would be formed under the direction of sheriff Hayden Combs. Bunch would become an early member of the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office Posse for approximately five years until it’s disbandment in the early 1980’s.
Bunch would stay active in volunteerism through the 1970’s and 1980’s, involved in such organizations as: Steve Owens Memorial Liar’s Race; Walker Lake 100 and NHRA Rod Squad, to name only a few.
As his children ventured out on their own, Bunch found more time to give back to his community. Raising his children (and many Hawthorne/ Babbitt children) at Walker Lake, he began to see that the lake, in which he spent many weekends, was receding at a rapid rate.
He would become one of the founding members of Walker Lake Working Group in 1991. Attending meetings in Hawthorne as well as legislative sessions in Carson City, testifying his love of Walker Lake. In 2008, with former WLWG president, Lou Thompson leaving, Bunch would be appointed as president, a position he holds to this day.
He would become reenrolled in Mineral County Search & Rescue under Sheriff John Leonhardt in 1992, when the group was reactivated. Interested in this organization and having spent many years in Mineral County backcountry, Bunch would be invited to the reorganizational meeting. He would enter only a few minutes late. Those minutes cost him dearly, as Sheriff Leonhardt appointed him commander of this group. 24 year later, Bunch still holds this position. Under his authority, he has had many successful searches, some tragedy and many stories. He was involved in the highly publicized search for Steve Fossett in 2007. Many family dinners have been interrupted by the ‘call of duty’, including that of this 50th Anniversary celebration to his wife, this summer. He is also a member of National Search and Rescue Association.
In 1984, Bunch began helping Cecil the Serpent travel to parades throughout Nevada. Two years later, he would become the permanent driver for the now aging mascot of Hawthorne. Each Armed Forces Day, Mineral County High School Homecoming or whenever Cecil needs to come out of hibernation, Bunch and members of search and rescue, put him together, so that he can make his appearance.
An avid hunter, Bunch has been on the Mineral County Wildlife Advisory Board since the early 1990’s and has currently been the president for some time and attends state meetings regarding quotas, tags and other areas of concern for our county. He also has served on many other Mineral County boards.
In his spare time, Bunch also helps Casey Folks of The Best in the Desert racing organization, “rounding-up” volunteers for this high-speed off road race. He also has helped the Modesto Ridge Runners, who hold a rally on the roads of Mineral County, a week after Best in the Desert. When a poker run, race or other event comes forth, Bunch steps to the plate, with help of Mineral County Search and Rescue and family to get things organized and completed.
Whenever a volunteer position arises, Bunch answers the call of duty, putting aside activities with family and friends or personal opinions so that others can benefit from an event, a decision or possibly saving a life.
Bunch was awarded the plaque from Past Exalted Ruler Steve McBride for his dedication. His name will be nominated on the Nevada state level for further consideration of his volunteerism.