Craig resident Myrt Stagner, pictured here at the front desk of The Memorial Hospital in Craig, is a volunteer with the TMH Ladies Auxiliary, otherwise known as the Pink Ladies. She also organized several Craig Citywide Prayer Gatherings, including last year’s which saw the biggest turnout in event history.

Photo by Mary Austin

Craig resident Myrt Stagner, pictured here at the front desk of The Memorial Hospital in Craig, is a volunteer with the TMH Ladies Auxiliary, otherwise known as the Pink Ladies. She also organized several Craig Citywide Prayer Gatherings, including last year’s which saw the biggest turnout in event history.

Craig resident using people skills to help community

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Myrtle Stagner is a people person.

“I like to interact with people,” the 70-year-old Craig resident said. “It’s very rewarding.”

This desire for interaction helped guide Stagner through various professional ventures.

Since settling in Craig with her husband, Claude, about 27 years ago, the Pagoda native spent 10 years working at Kmart, operated a Curves For Women health center for four years and spent about a year working at Walmart.

She still works at H&R Block during tax season, helping with customer service.

However, when she retired from full-time, year-round work about five years ago, Stagner found she had time to dedicate to a new endeavor.

Friend and Craig resident Jerrie Simpson, a longtime volunteer with The Memorial Hospital Ladies Auxiliary — otherwise known as the Pink Ladies — helped Stagner with the decision.

“After I retired she asked me if I’d be interested in volunteering (with the Pink Laides),” Stagner said. “I thought it was something I could do.”

Jennifer Riley, chief of organizational excellence for TMH, said volunteers have been a vital part of the hospital since it opened in 1949.

“(The Pink Ladies) all contribute hundreds of hours every year to make our patients and guests feel welcome,” Riley said.

“Without them, we would be short on help. They contribute a great amount.”

While Pink Lady volunteers help in many different places throughout the hospital, Stagner’s post often is at the hospital’s front desk.

“I take people wherever they need to go,” she said.

“If somebody delivers flowers we take them down to the patients. (We do) whatever we can do to help the (hospital employee) working at the front desk.”

When she’s not helping up front, Stagner works in the nonprofit gift shop operated by the Pink Ladies.

“The money that we get in the gift shop, we buy things for the hospital the hospital can use,” she said, adding that she plans to continue volunteering with the group “as long as I’m able.”

“We have a great group of ladies,” she said.

Although Stagner finds fulfillment through her work with the Pink Ladies, in early 2010 she found herself seeking guidance on how to handle problems both in her own life as well as those faced by the nation.

After a little thought and a lot of prayer, she decided to revive the Craig Citywide Prayer Gathering, an annual event coinciding with the national day of prayer that had fallen by the wayside in recent years, attracting only “two or three people,” she said.

“I really prayed about it and I felt like the Lord was saying, ‘You need to do it,’” she said.

“So I started kind of organizing it, and last year (2011) was the biggest turnout we’ve ever had.”

Stagner feels that while some people pray every day, it is vital for people of all denominations gather and pray together.

“It’s important for everyone to come together and pray,” she said.

“Especially in the state our country is in right now, we really need God in every aspect of every day life. Hopefully people will realize that through the National Day of Prayer.”

Stagner will still be involved in this year’s Craig Citywide Prayer Gathering, slated for May 3 on the Moffat County Courthouse lawn, but she handed off organizational responsibilities to Craig resident Carol Morton.

However that doesn’t mean she’s done volunteering.

Whether it’s working with the Pink Ladies, helping the Moffat County Fair Committee or giving her time to any number of groups at her church, the Craig Assembly of God, Stagner feels she has more to offer the community.

“It’s so fulfilling to volunteer to help,” she said. “There’s so much stuff that needs to be done and not enough people to do it.”

She hopes others feel the same way.

“I just think people ought to try it,” she said. “They might like it.”

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