Betsy Peck has been volunteering at Ridgeview Elementary School since 1981, sits on the Moffat County Housing Authority board of directors and delivers presents for Christmas for Seniors. She was named 2007 Volunteer of the Year on Wednesday. Officials from Moffat County United Way, the city and county selected Peck from of a pool of eight nominees.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Betsy Peck has been volunteering at Ridgeview Elementary School since 1981, sits on the Moffat County Housing Authority board of directors and delivers presents for Christmas for Seniors. She was named 2007 Volunteer of the Year on Wednesday. Officials from Moffat County United Way, the city and county selected Peck from of a pool of eight nominees.

Giving help across the spectrum

2007 Volunteer of the Year donates time to seniors, elementary school children

photo

Ridgeview Elementary School principal Julie Baker, left, gives Betsy Peck a hug after she was named 2007 Volunteer of the Year on Wednesday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.

— Volunteerism is more than a pastime for Craig resident Betsy Peck.

"My volunteering has been my savior," she said, adding that her husband's death eight years ago made that aspect of her volunteerism especially true.

Peck's record supports her words.

In 27 years, Peck has volunteered about 16,000 hours with various organizations and boards in Moffat County, according to a statement from Moffat County United Way and city and county officials.

On Wednesday, those hours received recognition.

Peck was named 2007 Volunteer of the Year at a luncheon hosted by United Way, the city and county at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion. United Way, city and county officials selected Peck from a pool of eight nominees, said Corrie Ponikvar, Moffat County United Way executive director.

"She volunteers for all the right reasons," she said, "from the heart."

Peck's volunteer work has taken her "across the spectrum," Ponikvar said, "from children to seniors and everyone in between."

"The most important reason for her (receiving the recognition) was because she doesn't just volunteer for one organization."

Peck, a Craig resident for 45 years, began her volunteer work in 1981. Ridgeview Elementary School was a new facility then, Peck said, and school librarians needed help setting up the school library.

So, Peck volunteered.

And she didn't stop.

"There's so much to be done," she said. "So many groups need help."

Peck still volunteers at Ridgeview Elementary.

"I do everything," she said, adding that her duties at the school can include substitute teaching or lending a hand in the nurse's office.

Peck eventually turned her attention to the county's senior citizens.

Through Christmas for Seniors, part of the KRAI/55 Country Holiday Drive, Peck purchases and delivers gifts for area senior citizens.

"She's one of our best volunteers," said Frank Hanel, KRAI and 55 Country owner and general manager. "She's out there most of the time" during the two-day event.

Peck has left an impression with Connie Combs, Sunset Meadows II building manager.

"I think she's a person who really cares about Moffat County seniors," Combs said, adding that some residents in the senior citizen apartment complex are on Peck's Christmas for Seniors delivery list.

"She likes giving to these seniors, especially when she knows no one else is going to bring them gifts," she said.

Peck also helps Sunset Meadows employees host parties and an annual picnic for its senior citizens.

"She's always happy about it," Combs said. "If you call her for help, she's here."

Peck also has taken a leadership role with several area agencies.

In past years, Peck has served on The Memorial Hospital Foundation board and the Moffat County Libraries board of directors. Although she no longer serves with these groups, Peck continues to serve on boards for the Moffat County Housing Authority and its subsidiary, Craig Senior Citizens.

County Commissioner Saed Tayyara remembers working with Peck on the Housing Authority board when he was chairman of the commissioners last year.

"We're blessed to have her," he said. "She never slowed down.

"'No' doesn't exist in the dictionary in her mind."

Peck stressed that the Craig community was a driving force behind her volunteer work.

"Craig, Colorado, is the best place in the world," Peck said, "and I hope I can continue giving to it in years to come."

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