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‘Left it a better place’

Community leaders Pres and Patti Askew move to Denver, but plan to return often

Michelle Balleck

— Pres and Patti Askew think their departure will have minor effects on Craig.

“We frankly wouldn’t move if we had any doubt that things we care about would be impacted,” Pres said. “There’s plenty of good strong leaders in this community who will do just fine without us.”

But one of those Pres refers to – former mayor and community leader Dave DeRose – said he hates to see the couple go.

“I’m going to miss them a lot myself because they always portray such a positive attitude about what we can do here,” DeRose said. “I think Pres and Patti are the ultimate ‘We think we can, so we do’ folks. We’re losing a huge asset because they really care about people.”

The Askews, who have lived in Craig for 9 1/2 years and have been instrumental in the founding and growth of many agencies, are moving to Denver. They close on their house on LeCuyer Drive today, and the movers begin packing trucks Tuesday.

The move puts the couple closer to their daughter, Penni Knapp, her husband, Kevin, and their grandchildren, Jacob, 7, and Riley, 5, who live in Fort Worth, Texas. They’ve spent time in Craig primarily to see their other daughter, Pamela Kinder, her husband, Dennis, and their grandchildren, Jacquelyn, 18, and Buddy, 15.

Now that the Kinders’ children have grown, the Askews plan to make the daylong drive to Fort Worth to see their other daughter and her family more often.

In Denver, Pres will

continue to serve as president of the Colorado Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. Patti will volunteer her time with the Assistance League of Denver, which provides clothing to needy children, among other projects.

But the Askews plan to return to Craig often, as they returned to Denver once a month while living here.

Patti will come back monthly to participate in the Craig Book Club and will help organize Cowboy Christmas, the annual fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, which the Askews opened in Craig three summers ago.

During their tenure in Craig, Pres also was on the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and Steamboat Springs Symphony Orchestra boards. Patti was active with St. Michael Catholic Church and the Yampa Valley Sewing Guild, and served on The Memorial Hospital Foundation board and as vice president of the Craig Concert Association board.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

In 2006, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation named the couple Philanthropists of the Year. And earlier this month, Gov. Bill Ritter named Pres to the 10-member Tony Grampsas Youth Services board for a three-year term.

But for the Askews, it’s all in a day.

“I think that wherever you go that each of us really determines how things are,” Pres said. “If you want them to be good : they’ll be great. We’ve always looked for things that we can contribute to.”

What legacy do the Askews hope they’ve leave behind as they say goodbye to Craig?

“That people would feel you never hurt anyone,” Pres said. “And that sometimes you helped them.”

Patti added: “And that you left it a better place.”

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.


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