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Area leaders adapt as volunteers hindered by time limitations

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Volunteer opportunities

AARP

Phone: (970) 824-5123 NA

Contact Person: Beverly Chapman

Advocates Crisis Support Services

Phone: (970) 824-9709

Contact Person: Pat Tessmer

Al-Anon

Phone: (970) 824-6040

Contact Person: Maxine Turner

Alpha Tau

Phone: (970) 824-3037

Contact Person: Pat Herring

American Cancer Society

Phone: (970) 242-9593

Contact Person: Sarah Catlin

American Legion

Phone:(970) 824-3625

Contact Person: Mel Shockley

American Red Cross

Phone: (970) 226-5728

Contact Person: Jason Godinez

Bears Ear Sportsman Club

Phone: (970) 824-8376

Contact Person: Jake Garcia

Craig Book Club

Phone: (970) 824-4117

Contact Person: Bonnie Thompson

Breastfeeding Group

Susan Bowler

(970) 824-8233

Boy Scouts of America

Archie Albaugh

(970) 824-5825

Boys & Girls Club of Craig

(970) 826-0411

Contact Person: Dana Duran

Cedar Mountain Lions Club #104

Tony Maneotis

(970) 824-4422

Colorado Wilderness Network

(970) 824-5241

Contact Person: Luke Schafer

Colorado Wild Horse Advocates

(970) 824-9505

Contact Person: Patti Mosbey

Craig Association of Realtors

(970) 824-3445

Contact Person: Yvonne McNally

Craig Book Club

(970) 824-4117

Contact Person: Bonnie Thompson

Craig Concert Association

Phone: (970) 824-6654

Contact Person: Gail Petch

Craig Lions Club

(970) 824-5689

Contact Person: Al Shepherd

Craig Men's Hockey Association

Contact Person: Greg Neal

Phone: (970) 824-1045

Craig Rotary Club

Phone: (970) 826-4444

Contact Person: Randy Looper

Craig Sea Sharks

Phone: (970) 824-8771

Contact Person: Steve Tegtman

Craig Softball Association

(970) 824-2873

Contact Person: Dusty White

Downtown Business Association

(970) 824-4580

Contact Person: Carol Wilson

Elks Club No. 1577

Contact Person: Jody Watson

(970) 824-2251

Epsilon Sigma Alpha-Alpha Tau

Contact Person: Margaret Thompson

(970) 824-5285

Friends of the Library

Contact Person: Donna Watkins

(970) 824-5116

Girl Scouts of U.S.A.

Contact Person: Carol Wilson

(970) 824-9649

Craig Trap Club

Contact Person: Dick King

(970) 824-3924

Craig Youth Baseball Association

Contact Person: Dave Pike

(970) 826-2006

Craig Youth Hockey Association

Contact Person: Mike Boatright & Chris Reilly

(970) 824-4411 620-0975

Craig Youth Soccer Association

Contact Person: Rusty & Lashawna Cox

(970) 826-2827

Grand Futures Prevention Coalition

Contact Person: Chad Kiniston

(970) 824-5752

Greenridge Mountaineers

Contact Person: Lois/Gayle Norman

(970) 824-6673

H.A.M. Radio Club

Contact Person: Tom Ward

(970) 824-7734

Horizons Specialized Services, Inc.

Contact Person: Michael Toothaker

(970) 824-7804

Independent Life Center

Contact Person: Evelyn Tileston

(970) 824-0833

Interfaith Food Bank

(970) 824-7355

Open: 11 a.m. -12 p.m. M-F

Kiwanis Club of Craig

Contact Person: Jim Ferree

(970 )826- 2023

Knights of Columbus

Contact Person: Michael Gush

(970) 824-3628

Little Britches Rodeo

Contact Person: Shiela Brennise

(970) 824-4246

Maybell Women's Club

Contact Person: Lorena Shaffer

(970) 272-3021

Men's Golf Association

Contact Person: Bud Bower

(970) 824-2793

Moffat County 4-H

Contact Person: Alisa Comstock

(970) 824-9180

Moffat County Cattlemen

Contact Person: Keith Pankey

(970) 824-4201

Moffat County Cooperative Extension Office

Contact Person: Elisa Shackelton

(970) 824-9180

Moffat County Cowbelles

Contact Person: Arloa Gerber

(970) 824-3396

Moffat County Democratic Party

Contact Person: Ted Crook

(970) 824-2089

Moffat County Habitat for Humanity

Contract Person: Pat Jones

(970) 826-4400

Moffat County Tourism Association

Tammy Booker/Cindy Looper

(970) 824-4000 826-4444

Moffat County Republicans

Contact Person: Ron Danner

(970) 824-6636

Moffat County Republican Women

Contact Person: Corrie Ponikvar

(970) 824-6222

Moffat County Search & Rescue

Contact Person: George Miner

(970) 629-1092

Moffat County Young Life

Contact Person: David Pressgrove

(970) 629-9600

Moffat County United Way

Contact Person: Corrie Ponikvar

(970) 824-6222

Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club

Contact Person: Joe Tonso at (970) 824-5821

Or Stan Fox at (970) 326-7160

Odd Fellows

Contact Person: Karl Huntsman

(970) 826-0089

RioRoMo Roping Club

Contact Person: Roger Whitaker

(970) 824-2414

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Contact Person: Jim Fagg

(970) 824-9755

Routt/Moffat Woolgrowers

Contact Person: Ablert Villard

(970) 824-9302

Salvation Army

Laura Williams & Marie Peer

(970) 824-8282

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Contact Person: Dave Walters

(970) 824-7145

Weight Watchers

Contact Person: Susie Violette

(970) 824-1956

Women's Golf Association

Contact Person: Sandi Seip

(970) 824-6660

Women's Hockey Association

Contact Persons: Charlene Abdella

(970) 824-7800

Yampa Masonic Lodge

Contact Person: Charlie Dial

(970) 824-3256

Yampa Valley Antique Power Club

Contact Person: Ed Fultz

( 970) 824-1783

Yampa Valley Bass Masters

Contact Person: Burt Clements

(970) 824- 5019

Yampa Valley Brass

Contact Person: Jim Simpson

(970) 824-4138

Yampa Valley Golf Association

Contact Person:Brett Etzler

(970) 824-3673

Yampa Valley Landlords Association

Contact Person: John Barr

(970) 824-7120

Yampa Valley Partners

Contact Person: Audrey Danner

(970) 871-7681

Yampa Valley Sports Riders Association

Contact Person: Patty Zulian

(970) 824-2182

Yampa Valley Sweet Adelines

Contact Person: Denise Whitney

(970) 824-8326

— John Ponikvar pauses after listing the area boards he serves on.

The Moffat County Finance Corporation, the Community Corrections Board, the Judical Performance Commission and the Moffat County Tourism Association make up his current obligations.

"Is that all I'm doing now?" he said, adding that in some years, he's served with eight organizations.

In that time, Ponikvar has noticed a trend.

"We're seeing a few new faces," he said. "But I think the problem I've seen over the years is that we have a few people involved in boards and organizations in the community."

Ponikvar's observation comes after national studies show volunteer numbers have declined in recent years.

About 60 million Americans volunteered at organizations once or more between September 2006 and 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site.

That's about a 0.5 percent decrease from 2006, the Web site reported, and the volunteer rate dropped about 2 percent in 2005.

Those statistics could be translating to Moffat County.

In Ponikvar's experience, he said, a few highly active volunteers take on the responsibilities of many by serving on multiple boards.

"A lot of times, you'll see the same faces on different boards," he said.

Ponikvar doesn't believe a lack of interest in potential volunteers is the problem.

"Most people, if you approach them, won't say no," he said. "Especially if they see a need or they have a passion on a certain subject or certain area, they're willing to give up their time."

Instead, he attributes the situation to societal changes.

"This is a fast world we live in today," he said. "People are very busy."

The key, he said, is reaching people trying to balance work, family and additional obligations.

"I think we need to actively go out and recruit," he said.

Randy Looper, Craig Rotary Club president, agrees. A recruitment program is something the group has been focusing on recently, he said.

"We've gone from targeting specific areas to pretty much anyone," he said.

The group's recruitment program includes inviting new residents to meetings and, in the future, providing membership packets.

"Just talking to them and inviting them isn't going to do a thing," he said.

Looper doesn't agree that the same people serve on local boards.

"I've heard people say that, but I haven't seen that," he said.

Looper volunteers at several organizations, including the Black Mountain Theatre and an area Cub Scout troop.

"There's a core group of people, but they're not doing everything," he said.

From Looper's perspective, more help at Rotary would be welcome, but it's not a necessity.

"We could always use more numbers, sure; we're a small club," he said, adding that 21 members currently are in the group, and most of the group's members are active.

Not all organization leaders have the same view.

Michael Toothaker, Horizons Specialized Services adult community coordinator, said he believes all area organizations could use more volunteers, including his own.

About three people volunteer monthly with Horizons, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities, he said, adding that this number has remained consistent for four years.

Toothaker would like to see five volunteers working at the agency on a weekly basis.

"I don't think we've made a strong enough (recruiting) effort" in Moffat County, Toothaker said, adding that area staff often don't have time to recruit new volunteers.

Another organization may have to rely on more drastic measures to increase its ranks.

If staffing at Craig Fire/Rescue reaches a point deemed unsafe by the district's board of directors and Bill Johnston, Craig Fire/Rescue chief, the department likely will change to a full-time career department, Johnston said.

Currently, serving as a firefighter in the Craig Rural Fire Protection District is like a part-time job, Johnston said. Firefighters are paid by the hour while responding to calls and taking certain trainings.

If the department goes to full-time employees, that could mean more money coming out of taxpayer's pockets.

Full-time firefighter wages and benefits would be paid by property taxes collected in the fire district, which encompasses about half of Moffat County and a portion of Routt County.

Salaries and benefits could cost between $300,000 and $400,000 annually, Johnston said.

Fire district officials are creating a staffing plan that will determine when staffing numbers become unsafe, Johnston said.

Currently, no completion date has been set for that study, he said.

Until that day comes - if it comes - firefighters will continue making ends meet with the staff they have.

That task isn't always easy.

"The day shift, it gets a little hairy," Johnston said, adding that fewer firefighters can respond to calls during the day while they are working at their primary jobs.

That worries Johnston.

"If I have a big fire on a regular workday, Monday through Friday," Johnston said, "I'm not sure how many firefighters I'm going to have.

"It makes me nervous."

Johnston attributed the staffing problem to time commitment necessary for firefighters.

A first-year firefighter must complete at least 250 hours of training, he said, and all firefighters must obtain state certification.

Economic changes in the past 20 years have turned many American families into two-income households, Johnston said, and many adults no longer have time for commitments outside of their jobs.

"We're asking them to give up almost all of their free time," Johnston said. "They don't want to do that."

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com

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