Interfaith is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year of coordinating volunteers in Jackson County and November is always a little bittersweet.
November is when Interfaith welcomes new board members, but that also means it is time for them to say good-bye to some of their long time board members.
“This November we reassigned four board members from their current roles, to their ‘new’ role as volunteers,” says Lori Chown, Program Director at Interfaith. “The heartwarming part is it is never really good-bye. Board members can serve a total of two-three year terms. While board members may complete their three or six year terms, they often stay on as committee members or volunteers for Interfaith, assisting in other ways. This year resigning board members included Pastor Meg Erickson, Pam Johnson, Lyle Hart, and Paul Ripp. Each of them brought a special gift to Interfaith and we will miss them as board members,” stated Chown.
Pastor Meg Erickson served on the Interfaith Board from 2013 to 2018 and also from 2002 to 2006. She was president of their board for the last two years and has been on many committees and assisted in many fundraising events. Pastor Meg is the pastor for Alma Center, Merrillan and Hixton United Methodist Churches. “One of the most exciting parts of having served on the board of Interfaith is to have seen the growth of programs and services offered to Jackson County,” stated Pastor Meg. “As an ecumenical faith-based organization it is one of the best in the state! And with the full support of the community and the dedicated staff it will continue to lead the way in assessing the needs of the elderly and those with special needs, while providing volunteer opportunities based on those needs. I am honored to have been part of it.”
Pam Johnson was the secretary for Interfaith for the last year and has assisted them in many fundraising events over the years. Pam works as the Elder Benefits Specialist for Jackson County Health and Human Services, which is one of Interfaith’s many partners.
Doctor Lyle Hart has been a board member for Interfaith for the last six years and has volunteered for Interfaith much longer than that. He has served as secretary for three years and has served on many committees. “If you know Dr. Hart, you know he is always willing to help. Dr. Hart and Ruth both volunteer at our Time For You Respite Program. You may also recognize him from his recent selection for WXOW’s Jefferson Awards. Lyle was recognized in November for all that he does for Jackson County!” states Chown.
Paul Ripp has served on the Interfaith board for the last six years and has served on many committees and volunteered at many fundraising events. Paul has owned and operated Ripp Distributing in Black River Falls since 1988 when he purchased it from his dad, Donald who founded it in 1969.
“We have four new Board Members joining us for three year terms, with the option for a second term. Julie Drace is a retired nurse who has been a longtime volunteer for Interfaith and started volunteering at Time For You this summer. Ron Perry is a retired administrator from Melrose Mindoro High School and a former Board Member for Interfaith Volunteers. “With all of the changes at Interfaith the last few years, and with the celebration of our 30th anniversary this year, we thought it was important to bring back some former board members who have a clear understanding of Interfaith’s history,” stated Chown. Other new board members include Youth Pastor Michael Rohrbach, from Family Worship Assembly, who has been assisting with set up at the Time For You Program and Greg Eddy, who is the co-director of anesthesia services at Black River Memorial Hospital and volunteered for Interfaith when he was in high school.
“Interfaith relies on the direction of 15 board members who meet every other month to provide important guidance to Interfaith’s staff,” stated Chown. “We are excited to see where the next year takes us and are so thankful for the continued support of our community by volunteering, serving on the board, or making financial contributions.