For Norm Rehme, retirement and rest don’t necessarily coincide. After 35 years in the financial industry, he has only nominally slowed his pace of life.
Throughout his career, Norm has participated in several boards and service clubs, such as the McKee Medical Center Foundation, the Rotary Club, Sertoma Club, and the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. In addition to his career and service, Norm and his wife raised four children while residing in the downtown Loveland area.
Rotary Club meetings previously took place in the basement of the old Pulliam Building, and it was in the midst of its historic beauty where Norm found his next project. Ten years later, and Norm is president of the Pulliam Community Foundation. Rising from the dust of the Great Depression and Works Progress Administration, the Pulliam Community Building was built in 1938 as a community center.
“For decades, it was the social gathering place of Loveland,” Norm explains. He has hopes for renovation so the building can serve the community once again. Whether it be used for reunions, dances, fashion shows, or retreats, possibilities abound for the 4,000 square foot open stage auditorium.
Norm and the entire board work on a volunteer-only basis, so 100 percent of the donations go directly to the project that is 80 percent funded.
“You just gather a good group of people around you and watch it happen,” Norm says.
Though he’s been labeled an “essential employee” throughout the stay-at-home orders, Ryan Lundquist insists that there is nothing special about showing up and contributing to the financial wellness of his community. As the branch manager and assistant vice president for Bank of Colorado in Johnstown, Ryan works tirelessly to provide education and funding to individuals and local businesses affected by the current closures due to COVID-19.
In trying times of economic stress, Ryan and his team focus on doing what is best for their customers. That includes everything from adjusting individual loan payments to helping business owners with Paycheck Protection Loans. They work quickly and with open communication in order to alleviate anxiety.
Ryan also serves as the treasurer on the board of Loveland’s Park and Recreation Foundation. As a member for three years, Ryan has seen the organization provide approximately 250 scholarships annually for low-income children. This money allows children to participate in activities and sports provided by Loveland’s Parks and Recreation department at no cost.
Ryan’s passion for getting kids into recreation began when their 7-year old daughter got involved in activities with the Chilson Center in Loveland. He realized that every child doesn’t have the same opportunities. For Ryan, once you have seen a need and have the ability to respond, it is simply a responsibility to do so.
“I’ve come to find that it’s not the kid’s fault and it’s not the parent’s fault,” Ryan says.
Feeding a Need
Tom Carrigan is driven by a single-minded focus: to feed hungry kids. In a country as wealthy as America and a region as generous as northern Colorado, he sees no reason that any child should ever find themselves without a meal.
After his retirement from the sales and manufacturing industry, Tom took on the role as chairman of the Loveland Rotary Club’s KidsPak. He and his wife Corinne oversee the delivery of approximately 550 backpacks filled with five meals every Friday to children in need throughout the Thompson School District. Each one is designed to meet children’s nutritional needs over the course of a weekend when they otherwise might not get enough food.
Tom and KidsPak take their goal of “feeding the future” to heart and constantly seek out innovative ways to get free food into the hands of children in need. Current closures have reduced the number of drop-off sites, so Tom has begun delivering packs to the Loveland Public Library to ensure hungry children are fed.
Another important piece of the hunger puzzle is equipping adults with the knowledge to identify signs of hunger. Corinne has created and shared with the Thompson School District a checklist titled “17 Signs it’s Hunger” so that teachers, counselors, and other school employees can tell the difference between behavioral issues and a potential lack of food at home.
In 2019, KidsPak delivered around 20,000 backpacks across the Thompson School District. That’s a total of 100,000 meals! Tom is motivated to see that number increase in the years to come.
“Each year we look at the core question: how can we feed more kids?” Tom says.
If you step onto Tom and Emma Kennedy’s three acres, you will almost definitely be greeted with lots of love and slobber from their eight rescue dogs! These hyper pups are just some of the benefits that come from owning and operating Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue, their nonprofit.
It began about a decade ago when the couple decided to save a dog from being euthanized at a high-kill shelter in Trinidad, Colorado. They chose their dog online and took a vacation to adopt her. They never expected to come back with nine additional canine friends! They were moved to action after seeing the ceiling-high stacks of kennels filled with dogs doomed to be put down. Since they had some experience fostering dogs, Tom and Emma decided they could do the most good by opening their own rescue. Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue was created.
“We rescue dogs from places where they’re tied to a tree 24-hours a day. That’s not a life,” Tom says. “We rescue them from hoarding situations, where there are sometimes as many as 50 little dogs they’re allowing to breed.”
The mission of their Rescue is two-fold: save dogs from high-kill shelters and reduce the number of unwanted puppies by providing low-cost spay and neuter clinics in the most poverty-stricken areas of New Mexico.
Tom and Emma rescue the dogs from high-kill shelters across Colorado and then place them with one of their 50 foster families. Potential pet-owners can view the dogs on the Rescue’s website, rmpuppyrescue.org, put in an application, and then meet the dog at one of the regular adoption events that take place at PetCo in Arvada.
“If you want to help, there are a hundred ways,” Tom says. “You can get involved at your comfort level.”
For Dave Orr, giving back to the community is an integral part of life. As the owner and operator of a top-producing State Farm Insurance Agency, Dave’s passion involves educating his customers and coaching them through difficult decisions.
He and his wife, Tasha, have lived in Loveland for 20 years and are committed to community contribution, whether by shopping at local businesses, eating at local restaurants, or supporting local charities.
Dave gives back every winter in partnership with SafeLite Auto Glass by transforming his office’s parking lot into a mobile blood drive. He invites agents, friends, family, and the public to contribute. Last year more than 20 units were donated-- that’s 60 lives saved.
Another organization that Dave feels passionate about is Sweetheart City Racing. The nonprofit, operated by Shane and Sara McWaters, supports a variety of foot races that include 2-mile, 5K, and 10K distances. Race proceeds benefit local schools and charities such as Realities for Children and the Veteran’s Assistance Fund. Dave’s office sponsors five races annually.
Dave does not stop there. He’s also a member of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Kingdom Way Ministries, and vice president of the Loveland chapter of Master Networks, a professional group with the mission to ”create and design a legacy beyond the business.”
Dave’s is shaping his own legacy with his continual drive to contribute to the greater good of his community.
“If I'm this blessed, it’s the least I can do to give back in one way or another,” Dave says.