Volunteering is a way of life
RIFLE – June Renfro of Rifle doesn’t just volunteer here and there. For her, it’s a way of life. For Renfro, who turned 79 in April, volunteering takes up a lot of her time but it makes her feel good.”Volunteering gives me a feeling of self worth,” she said with a smile. “It keeps me busy. I don’t want to sit down and play cards or drink coffee. I’ve always done volunteer work – I don’t feel comfortable sitting around.”Renfro is president of the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors – a group of about 18 community members who, in their signature red coats, welcome new businesses to the city. She has been a member since 1998.
“We’re meeters, greeters and ribbon cutters and we attend open houses or if someone has moved or expanded,” Renfro said. “We profile businesses (on Community Television Channel 10) and we always meet and greet new businesses. We are the PR of the chamber – we promote the chamber.”Renfro was also elected to the board of the National Association of Chamber Ambassadors in 1998, which meets twice a year.”I’ve not missed a meeting in eight years,” she said proudly. “It’s a group of people that get together and start ambassador groups and puts forth a lot of effort in helping businesses to succeed. It’s always fun to get together and hear other people’s do’s and don’ts.”Renfro was born and raised in Greeley and married in 1944. She and her husband ran an upholstery business for 30 years. When Renfro’s husband died of cancer in 1996, she moved to Rifle in 1997 to be closer to her daughter, Judy Hewitt, who owns Action Shop Services. Renfro also had a son who passed away.”I started life over in 1997,” she said. “I sold everything I had and moved here.”
Lucky for Rifle.Because not only is she a volunteer ambassador for the chamber, she has also served on the advisory board to Colorado Mountain College for the past six years, worked as secretary on the Rifle Rendezvous board for the past eight years, is treasurer to the Bookcliffs Art Council and membership chairperson for the Rotary Club in Rifle.How does she have the time?”When you’re alone, you get up and get things done,” Renfro said simply. “I make time for it. I’ve always felt in my life that I want to give back as long as I’m able. I want to give back to my community.”And when she’s not giving back to her community, she spends time at home with her two one-year-old, female Shih Tzu pups – Princess and Duchess – who hail from the same litter.
“These are my best friends,” she smiled, as the dogs cuddled with her on the couch in her living room.The congregation at her church, First Christian Church in Rifle, where she has been a member for nine years, also provides fellowship.”We’ve got a great church family,” Renfro said.For now, volunteer work seems to be a full-time job for Renfro, but one that she loves.”I plan to continue as long as I can,” she smiled. “I’ll do it as long as I feel I’m doing a good job.”
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Construction for the South Midland project is on schedule, though crews will continue to work on weekends to keep the course.