Q&A: Leach is citizen of the year

Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce recognizes longtime community volunteer

  • Susan Leach was named Jaffrey Citizen of the year by the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Susan Leach was named Jaffrey Citizen of the year by the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Susan Leach was named Jaffrey Citizen of the year by the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Susan Leach was named Jaffrey Citizen of the year by the Chamber of Commerce.

The Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year committee has selected Susan Leach as its 2013 recipient. Leach will be honored at the Jaffrey Chamber’s Annual Meeting on Feb. 26 at the Shattuck Golf Club in Jaffrey.

For over 20 years, Leach has dedicated her time and efforts to the Jaffrey community, living by the phrase, “Do something nice for someone else and make a difference.” Leach opened up about her achievements and plans for the future in an interview Tuesday.

How does it feel to be named citizen of the year?

I’m humbled by it, I’m happy, excited, and appreciative. Their are many people that have done a lot of things as I have and could have this award. When they called me and told me I had tears come to my eyes.

What motivates you to volunteer?

I’ve had a good life, I had a good job and I love this community. I want to give back to my community.

Did you ever think you would win an award for your efforts?

No, that was not ever in my mind, that’s not what I was after. I appreciate it though.

How do you juggle so many volunteering gigs?

When I’m asked to do something, I do it. Two things don’t usually come at exactly the same time, so I make my schedule so that I can do it.

And you enjoy what you do?

I do, I’ve always had a passion for children. I always wanted to be a teacher. I was a teacher for 37 years and I just didn’t want to stop doing what I loved, working with kids and families.

So you decided – why not continue on?

It was interesting how it began, my first passion was to have a community center here in Jaffrey for the kids. This was over 20 years ago we formed a committee. I wanted a place where my two daughters could go and feel safe. As the years went by, we could see it being for not just children, but for the whole community. After 20 years, we have some money in a fund, we had a nice donation from a community member, enough money to begin a search for a place for a community center.

Do you wish more people would step up and volunteer as you do?

I think a lot of people volunteer, we’re a volunteering community. I have a nice committee for the community center, some of them have been on it since the beginning. There are all sorts of organizations and different people wanting to help in different ways in our community.

What are your future goals/plans? What projects would you like to see come to fruition?

Community center, that’s what I started out with and that’s what I hope I can end with. We are looking to see what we can do with the funds to begin the community center.

Are you planning on continuing to volunteer?

Yes, if you’re helping others, I love it. I enjoy helping, it’s innate I guess. My mother was like that and my grandparents were as well. I do it, think nothing of it, and love it. I like to see smiles on people’s faces, those that really need what I already have. There are many everywhere that need help, I do my best to help them.

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