Beloved volunteer honored before move

  • Jaffrey resident Susan Peterson was honored Thursday for her decades of volunteerism in Jaffrey with the Chamber of Commerce and other groups because she is leaving for Colorado next week to be closer to family. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jaffrey resident Susan Peterson was honored Thursday for her decades of volunteerism in Jaffrey with the Chamber of Commerce and other groups because she is leaving for Colorado next week to be closer to family. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Susan Peterson receives the 2015 Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce Citizen of Year award, flanked by Owen Houghton, right, and Max Mitchell, left.  Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/26/2017 10:08:34 AM

In the fall of 1976, a Wilmington, Delaware native would move to Jaffrey, spurred by a strong desire to explore the beauty of New England and her husband’s search for a teaching job. 

The allure of New England may have brought Susan Peterson to Jaffrey, but it was the close-knit vibe of the town and her roots developed in volunteering — especially with the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce — that would keep her here for the past 41 years. 

For Peterson, the Chamber’s 2015 Citizen of the Year, the town of Jaffrey will always hold a special place in her heart, making her upcoming move to Colorado that much harder.

“It’s been a tough decision… to start fresh at 59,” said Peterson, who is moving to the Littleton, Colorado area on Oct. 3 to be closer to her family. “I’ve been thinking [about moving] for a while now. But my grandchild is growing up and I want to be closer to her.”

Peterson was honored by the Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, with a small ceremony allowing her friends and family to gather, share stories, and reminisce about Peterson’s time and accomplishments in the community. 

“She’s given her heart and soul to this community. There will be a big hole to fill, she’s done so much for Jaffrey,” said Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce Executive Assistant Becky Newton. “I’m thrilled for her to start this new chapter, but I’m sad that she is leaving.”

In addition to being the chamber’s Citizen of the Year award recipient for 2015, Peterson also served for many years on the chamber’s education committee, and served as the chamber’s president in 2006 and 2007.

“She’s been a very integral part of the chamber,” said Max Mitchell, former president of the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce. “She has a great personality and has always worked very hard.”

Peterson also volunteered with many of the chamber’s events and programs, and helped with other organizations like the Park Theatre, 100+ Women Who Care, RiverMead, and the Monadnock Community Early Learning Center. 

“She certainly had a full chapter here,” said friend Marc Tieger. “I’ve seen her grow and mature over the years. She has a lot of people’s respect and we will miss her.”

Peterson said her love of volunteering began to develop after her children began to get a little older, as she began looking for some opportunities to contribute to her community. Peterson said she specifically latched onto the chamber as she believed in their message of “betterment of the community.”

“I volunteer because I enjoy it,” said Peterson. “I find it rewarding, especially when it’s for a good cause.”

When asked how she felt to have people honor her accomplishments on Thursday, Peterson said she didn’t realize that she had done so much, or affected so many people. Peterson said she was blown away by the slideshow shown at the event, showing more than 100 photos of her helping in town. 

“It makes me feel good because people are recognizing what I’ve done, and it makes me realize all the good that I’ve done,” said Peterson. “A lot of things I’ve done have been considered hard work, but I’ve never really viewed it that way.”

Peterson said she is unsure as to what her future in Colorado will hold, other than more time with family. Peterson hopes to be able to work – perhaps putting to use the skills she learned working as the HR manager of Belletetes or for DD Bean – and perhaps find a new close-knit community that she can volunteer in. 

“I hope to be able to contribute to the betterment of my community in Colorado,” said Peterson. “I want to embark on some new ideas, but I’m unsure if I will be able to give to the community like I did here.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT. 




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

20 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458
603-924-7172

 

© 2020 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy