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Changing of the Guard

by William J. Bechaver

WALSENBURG- Last Friday evening, 30 loyal volunteers and supporters of the Dorcas Circle attended a dinner to honor the hard work of all those who have made our local food pantry and clothing bank a success for 15 years.

    They also gathered to bid a fond farewell to Peg Clymore, the co-founder and leader of the organization for a decade and a half.  Clymore will step down this month as the director of the organization which has helped countless Huerfano County residents over the years.

    The dinner, held at the Housing Authority meeting room, was a ceremony for the changing of the guard.  But, like so many other things at Dorcas Circle, it soon grew into much more, a celebration rich in fellowship and appreciation for all the countless hours of work and effort by loyal volunteers since Dorcas Circle’s inception back in 1994.

    The evening kicked off with a spectacular dinner, provided and prepared by the ladies from Mountain View Baptist Church in La Veta.  It consisted of a refreshing lime gelatin salad, followed by a generous portion of roast beef, baked potatoes, a mixed vegetable medley, and rolls. The evening’s meal was topped off by vanilla ice cream and a special carrot cake decorated to commemorate the success of Dorcas Circle.

    Following the meal, all in attendance were treated to an award ceremony, the likes of which no volunteer in Walsenburg has ever seen, hosted by Clymore herself. Unique awards were given to each of her devoted volunteers, and gifts were presented to each to commemorate some particular skill, talent, or memory.

    Honored for their devotion, dedication, and support of the Dorcas Circle institution were the following helpers and volunteers: Maryann Chamberlain, Barb Hawlin, Terry Haverty, Gerry Harriman, Kathy Bush, Jan Penchoff, Judy Franciscotti, Marlene Moore, Kathy Calza, Frances Montoya, Theresa Romero, Dr. John and Patty Davis, Shelly Barber, Joyce Bratton, Dan Main, Jake Cruz, Edna Schmidt, Ron Bush, Irene Armijo, and Jerry Clymore, Peg’s husband.  Special note was made for the spouses of all the volunteers, recognizing that without their understanding support, the dedication of time required of the volunteers would be impossible. 

    Also recognized were the younger volunteers: Allyson Blessman, Brianna Blessman, Zane Barber, and Sean O’Connar, the youngest at age 11.  It was agreed by all that the future of organizations such as Dorcas Circle would appear bleak without the help of younger people.

    To follow up the award ceremony, the evening took a more serious and somber turn as each member was presented with a personalized album, featuring memories and pictures of their years together under Clymore’s guidance.

    Like a retiring circus clown, Clymore certainly leaves some big shoes to fill.  Maryann Chamberlain will take over the post, and all involved are reassured by her ability to organize and lead.  Chamberlain has been a resident of Huerfano County, along with her family, for over twenty years.

    The Dorcas Circle has been through many trials and challenges throughout the years, many which threatened its very survival and existence, but first and foremost, it has always been a faith-based organization.  Through the long-standing tradition of prayer and Christian fellowship, it has grown and endured, and with continuing faith, long shall it stand