Judy Hewitt: a woman in Action
Western Garfield County Staff
The name of her business is Action Shop Services, but Judy Hewitt is an action-minded individual in her spare time as well.
For nine years, Hewitt has been the driving force in putting together the annual Rifle Rendezvous festival. But now that the event ” held every May ” is over for this year, she is hanging up her hat as president of the Rendezvous board.
Hewitt is no stranger to volunteering her time in the community. She served on the board of the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce from 1995-98 and has been actively involved each year in the Holly Days celebration at Christmas, which is sponsored by The Citizen Telegram.
“I loved being on the chamber ” it was a really good experience,” Hewitt said with a smile. “I learned so much about the different businesses, what’s going on in the community, and the options of making it a better community.”
It was during her service on the chamber that Hewitt became involved with Holly Days and various local Christmas events, offering hay wagon rides and organizing groups to sing Christmas carols.
“I enjoyed that so much; it was so old-fashioned,” she said. “Singing carols, waving at people, and getting into the Christmas spirit.”
Hewitt also came up with the idea of having a rendezvous as an event to bring people into Rifle to get the community together.
“The first couple of years it was done between the chamber and the Rifle Sportsmen’s Club,” Hewitt explained. “But then the event got so large, we had to go to a nonprofit status to get grants and sponsors.”
The Rifle Rendezvous now includes four days of events, including a motorcycle rally, a kids’ art show and activities, live music, food and refreshments, vendor and nonprofit booths, and carnival rides. Hewitt’s favorite parts of the Rendezvous are the historical and cultural re-enactments, which are put on by such groups as the Buffalo Soldiers, the Garfield County Regulators, and Native American tribes.
“Isn’t that where we learn about people and putting aside some of our differences?” Hewitt said. “It’s an event that brings people together of all heritages, all ages, and all faiths. We put aside all our differences and go out and have a good time. I can’t think of anything about the Rendezvous I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve made some of the closest friendships and relationships you can ever develop.”
But Hewitt now feels it’s time to pass the leadership to someone else, although she still intends to help on the Rendezvous committee.
“It’s time for some new leadership, some new ideas and new thoughts. It’s time to turn over the reins and … I’m tired!” she admitted with a laugh. “But with the knowledge I’ve gained, I can still help in other ways, such as seeking grants, advertising and other areas where we’re lacking.”
For the most part, Hewitt intends to focus her energies on Action Shop Services Inc., which she co-owns with her husband, Dick. The shop, located on Access Road in West Rifle, offers a variety of rental equipment for parties, camping, and lawn and garden care, as well as equipment for contractors, boat and RV storage, and moving truck rentals.
“The business is growing, and there’s not a lot of spare time anymore,” she said.
The Hewitts opened Action Shop on April 1, 1987, as a repair shop. In 1991, they added the rental services.
“What’s so nice about this business is that it’s family-owned,” Hewitt said. “One of our sons is part of the business now, too.”
There’s no doubt that without her Rendezvous responsibilities, Hewitt will also make more time for her family and grandchildren, as well as her beloved pets. Little Miss Muffet, “Muffy,” a 2-1/2-year-old female cocker spaniel, is her constant companion at work, with a special place under the desk, while her 5-year-old granddaughter, Tori Lynn, steals a few moments to sit on her grandma’s lap.
Leaving the Rendezvous board is bittersweet for Hewitt, as she says it has been a rewarding experience.
“I truly have been blessed by meeting some of the neatest people and working with the greatest people in the community,” Hewitt said. “I’ve gotten to know them and love them. And the biggest thrill is to know people have appreciated your efforts.”
Contact Heidi Rice, 625-3245, ext. 102
– Age: 59
– Hometown: Originally from Greeley; moved to Rifle in 1983.
– Occupation: Co-owner, Action Shop Services Inc., in Rifle
– Family: Married to husband Dick Hewitt for 43 years; two sons, Vaughn and Vance; a daughter, Tina; and eight grandchildren.
– Something nobody knows: The Hewitts call themselves a “goofy family” because they love to laugh, do “goofy” dances and just have fun.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon closed around 9 p.m. Thursday for a flash flood warning.