Alexis de Tocqueville was right: Americans form a lot of associations!

I attended the annual meeting of the Alpine Community Center board of directors, primarily because it was noted in the Avalanche that Audrey Painter would be stepping down as president.

Her involvement in and leadership of this valuable organization goes back to at least the early 1970s when our daughter, and many other Alpine preschoolers, benefitted greatly from attending “Mrs. Painter’s.”  

Mrs. Painter, along with many others, also served for decades as a contributing member of the Alpine Public Library board as well as other public service organizations.

Two new board members were added and a new slate of officers elected. I’ll not try to imitate Avalanche Reporter Jim Street in providing further detail on the meeting, except to mention that the treasurer and director gave serious reports.

Many of you reading this are actively involved in civic, service, religious or other forms of association contributing to the welfare and improvement of our community.

You can appreciate the efforts made by board members such as these, through the many dozen such voluntary associations working in our community. 

To be effective, voluntary organizations need leadership. But they also need followers and supporters, doers. 

Some of us may not think we have skills or capabilities to offer but, in fact, we do. We are able to do something that other might not -- sometimes physical, sometimes emotional, sometimes professional, sometimes monetary, sometimes by simply being there.

The Avalanche provides notice each week of volunteer opportunities. Beyond that, if you ask a few of the people you interact each week what volunteer activities they are involved in, you will get hints of something to which you might contribute, some involving a much higher level of commitment than others.

We have been blessed by hundreds of citizens who have and are today engaged in these community improvement activities, none of them “running” for the Citizen of the Year awards.  Some of you knew of the efforts and commitments of George Floro and Hal Flanders, paragons.

If you are not already part of this kind of activity, jump in – you are needed. 

If you are, bless you, along with Mrs. Painter and the many others who do so much that benefits all of us in one way or another, sometimes indirectly.

Dale Christophersen is a longtime Alpine resident and a retired Sul Ross State University professor of political science and philosophy.