Quit, but not retired
Pres and Patti Askew chose Craig as their retirement home, but their activities haven't slowed down
Retirement didn’t slow things down for Pres and Patti Askew. Neither did their move from Denver to Craig. If anything, the combination has allowed them to focus on their joint interest — children.
Since moving to Craig nearly six years ago, Patty has become active with St. Michael’s Catholic Church and Moffat County Republican Women. Pres joined the board of R.A.D. (Recreational After-school Doorway) and has been working with the committee for a community recreation center. They both were mentors through Moffat County Partners.
“We’ve always been very active in our community,” Patti said.
Patti worked closely with the Denver Public School District while the couple’s two daughters attended.
After more than 30 years in the Denver area, the Askews followed one of their daughters — and her two children — to Craig.
“That’s the only thing that got us here. They were our only two grandchildren,” Patti said.
Two more grandchildren came along, this time to settle in Texas. So, the Askews divide their time between Craig, Denver and Texas.
They maintain an apartment in Denver to stay in contact with friends and causes they made their own while they were there. On their trips to Denver, Pres plays squash and badminton and Patti plays bridge and shops.
“I get a 10 in shopping,” Patti said. “It’s really the best of both worlds.”
Patti’s retired from owning her own successful business, Colorado Craft and Ceramics, a wholesale supply company. According to Pres, it was the largest wholesale craft company in Colorado.
“That’s partly because she survived when other stores went under,” he said. “She was a good business woman. She ran her business really well or it wouldn’t have survived.”
Pres sold the business and went on to manage the company Pres owned, Windsor Financial Group, an investment, financial planning and insurance company.
“She’s a lot better manager than I am,” Pres said.
In 1989, they sold the company to American Express in a contract that required Pres to stay on for three more years.
He stayed six.
“They were a really great company,” he said.
Patti said the couple hadn’t planned on getting so involved when they came to Craig.
“If you’re going to meet people, you have to get out,” she said. “I think that’s what started us. Then your interest grows and you see a need.”
They immediately got involved with Moffat County Partners and had previous experience after mentoring youth in Denver.
“We even brought one youngster up here hoping to straighten him out but it didn’t work,” Pres said.
They spent their first four years in Craig as mentors.
“He finally got old enough that he didn’t want a mentor anymore,” Patti said.
Now, much of the couple’s time and energy are put toward starting a Boys and Girls Club of America in Craig.
Pres saw money was available to new clubs and set his mind to getting a share of it in Craig.
“I saw there was money available and, based on what I saw accomplished with R.A.D. and the value of having some activities for youth, I thought a Boys and Girls Club would be a good complementary organization and give youth some alternatives,” Pres said.
He said he feels like there are a lot of times there are just no activities for youth in Craig and envisions the Boys and Girls Club providing alternatives during the summer and after school.
“That way a child doesn’t have to be home alone,” he said.
Boys and Girls Club organizers have gotten permission to use the old National Guard Armory as their headquarters and plan to open the first Monday following the last day of school.
Pres envisions the building as being multi-purpose in serving several youth groups.
“I hope the armory turns out to be a well-used facility for the entire community,” he said.
Right now, the two are seeking volunteers to provide activities during teachers’ in-service days, the next of which are Nov. 3 and 4. They’re working with R.A.D., Moffat County 4-H, CSU Moffat County Extension office, the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition to host a day of activities at the elementary schools and middle schools on those days.
“It will be interesting to see if we can come up with enough volunteers to pull this off,” Pres said.
There will be a $5 fee for each child for a day of activities.
“The idea is parents are surprised when their kids are out of school and they have to work,” Pres said. “When the Boys and Girls Club opens, it will be available for those types of days.
Part of the Askew’s interest in providing activities for youth stems from Patti’s theory that “if all children in the world got all the love they needed, the world would be a better place.”
Pres said it’s easier to change bad habits in children than it is in parents.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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