This lady has quietly flown under the radar of community service to Pondera County for decades.
For over 45 years Reta Rae Weisgram has significantly helped to generate opportunities for our county youth through her support of the 4-H program.
Her efforts of giving, volunteering, leadership and community support to the youth of Pondera County are exemplary and deserving.
She was a 4-H mother and even though her flock has grown and left the nest, she continues to help with youth projects at the Four-County Marias Fair.
She has served in leadership positions at the 4-H Club and county levels and still serves on Marias Fair 4-H committee. She has taught many children to sew, knit and helps out where ever needed.
She serves on the Marias Fair board where she represents the interest of Pondera County and 4-H.
All of her family, two sons, two daughters and Donovan, her husband have been involved in 4-H.
She and Don were both council, district and state officers. Reta has held every office except treasurer.
But she hasn’t limited her time to the 4-H programs. She and her family have hosted exchange students from Sweden, Japan, France, Africa, Costa Rica and Thailand, sharing their home and friendship with youth from across the world.
She also travels to Oregon each summer to help her daughter, Shana, who is an Extension agent of 26 years, run their fair.
She is an extremely talented seamstress, plus she knits and crochets. She has shared her love and expertise in these areas with people of all ages through 4-H, adult education, the Triangle Squares Quilt Guild, and the Community Sewing Circle.
She is a member of the Women of the Moose and one of the Extension Homemakers clubs. She has also served as a Boy Scout leader and serves the Pondera Food Pantry.
She is the Get-It-Done person to go to when project help is needed.
As if 4-H volunteering wasn’t enough, she served on the Pondera Medical Center board of trustees and was the board secretary for many years.
In the early 1990’s she was the Community Encourager for Rural Health and organized the Community Health Care Needs Council.
She was responsible for setting up town meetings in Conrad, Ledger, Valier, Brady, Dupuyer and Heart Butte as well as the Hutterite colonies to get citizens involved in rural health.
Some here are old enough to recall the town meeting she organized at Prairie View School where over 400 people filled the gym and spilled out into a hallway in order to address concerns about the PMC. And, then there were over 200 people at a follow-up public meeting on rural health just after that.
As a PMC board member, she was so dedicated at making meetings, that as a patient in the hospital, she went to a meeting in her hospital gown, pencil-in-hand to take her minutes at a trustee meeting. That’s real dedication and duty folks.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, a hero is “an object of extreme admiration and devotion.” This definition fits her perfectly. All you have to do is speak to someone who works with her on any of the many boards she has served on or taken a class from her, or asked her to complete any kind of task.
She is a woman with drive, purpose and high standards and sets a wonderful example for all of us to follow.
Reta Rae Weisgram signifies and represents what volunteering is to the highest order.