M2: Al Shepherd, volunteer for life
Craig resident Al Shepherd has sealed his legacy through volunteering
April 25, 2013
14th Judicial Community Corrections Board
• Dennis Martinez, chairman
• Walt Vanatta, vice chairman
• John Kinkaid, Moffat County ex-officio member
• Evan Herman
• Matt Tjosvold
• Charlene Abdella
• Heidi Taylor-Troxell
• Mike Flannery
“Al’s been a great community asset. He represents the community’s point of view on this board and has volunteered his time for years and years. I have always appreciated his point of view.”
— 14th Judicial District Attorney Brett Barkey about Craig resident Al Shepherd’s contribution to the 14th Judicial Community Corrections Board.
"Al's been a great community asset. He represents the community's point of view on this board and has volunteered his time for years and years. I have always appreciated his point of view."
— 14th Judicial District Attorney Brett Barkey about Craig resident Al Shepherd's contribution to the 14th Judicial Community Corrections Board.
Craig — This month the Moffat County United Way honored a number of people in Craig who have made a difference in the community through serving others.
Among the numerous local residents recognized during the volunteer luncheon at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion were several members of Moffat County government boards who have served for 10 years or more.
Al Shepherd, 81, was one of the standouts. He's been serving on the 14th Judicial Community Corrections Board since 1984 and is one of the longest tenured Moffat County government volunteers, second only to Owen Grant, who has been serving on the Moffat County Cemetery Board since 1978.
On Thursday, Shepherd joked about serving on the community corrections board for so long. Shepherd joined less than two years after the board, and the Correctional Alternative Placement Services residence, was established.
"I guess it was my inquisitive nature," Shepherd said. "I wanted to know what was going on a block and a half away from my house and they asked me to join. We think I am the oldest member of any community corrections board in the state."
CAPS was started in 1982 in Moffat County with 12 beds. It was designed to serve as an alternative placement option for people in trouble with the law but also has evolved into a halfway house for parolees of the Colorado Department of Corrections.
CAPS has grown into a 45-bed facility, and the board reviews 15 applications per month from probation departments throughout the state and from the Department of Corrections.
In 29 years Shepherd has almost seen it all in terms of the type of applicants who apply for CAPS, which is what makes him such a valuable member of the board, 14th Judicial District Attorney Brett Barkey said.
"Al's been a great community asset," Barkey said. "He represents the community's point of view on this board and has volunteered his time for years and years. I have always appreciated his point of view."
But Shepherd's dedication to the 14th Judicial Community Corrections Board wouldn't sum up his contributions to Craig and Moffat County — not by a long shot.
Shepherd, who was born and raised in Craig, is a volunteer for life. He began serving the community at age 9 as a Cub Scouts volunteer directing parking traffic at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, a service he continued after joining the Boy Scouts when he was 12.
Shepherd's volunteer spirit inspired him to join the Army when he was 19. Since returning home from the service, Shepherd has served as a JC for the Craig Chamber of Commerce, served for 30 years on the Moffat County Board of Appeals and for 20 years on the Moffat County Fair Board.
Perhaps Shepherd's greatest contribution has been to the Craig Lions Club.
The Lions Club is a national service organization dedicated to "helping people do things they otherwise wouldn't be able to do themselves," Shepherd said. He's been affiliated with the local Lions Club chapter for more than 43 years.
Craig Lions Club's marquee service is providing eye exams for children from the ages of 6 months to 6 years. Club members use a special camera to photograph children's eyes. The images are then sent to a doctor who examines them for potential vision problems.
The Craig Lions Club averages 600 eye exams each year. About 10 percent of those children are diagnosed with vision problems.
"A lot of people don't realize the gratification you get from volunteering," Shepherd said. "I've been a volunteer all my life. I feel that I owe it to the community.
Joe Moylan can be reached at 970-875-1794 or jmoylan@CraigDailyPress.com