Escondido, CA

The Value of Volunteers


Volunteers. No, I am not talking about the University of Tennessee. Last week, The North County Philanthropy Council honored community volunteers for 2019 and that got me thinking about the value of volunteers at many different levels. 

Charities, non-profits, civic groups and government agencies depend on volunteers who give their time, talent and treasure for their very existence. Escondido’s Trudy Armstrong received the prestigious Spirit of Carol Sigelman Award. Before I go deeper, I want to recognize other honored volunteers from Escondido. Brian Duyst/A Step Beyond, Judy Davis/Assistance League, Nancy Reeder/CCAE, Donna Aeling/Escondido Charitable Foundation, Leslie Meyer and Cindi Peters/ECCDC, Amanda Roth, Interfaith, Rich Martin/Children’s Museum, and Jacquie Skay/San Diego Foundation.

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido, City Library, Senior Center (Park Avenue Community Center). Service clubs Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Optimists, Soroptimists, Assistance League and Jaycees all could not offer the services that they do since all rely on volunteers as are Little League, Soccer, Girls Softball, Pop Warner, Boys and Girls Club and Palomar Y. Even the City of Escondido functions more efficiently with various volunteer staffed committees and commissions. Kudos to all who find time in their lives to give of themselves for the benefit of others.

This takes me now to someone who I consider a super volunteer who I’m sure was honored in some previous year by the NCPC. Dr. Roy Archer, who we all know as Pat Archer, a few weeks ago hung up his Boy Scouts of America scarf after serving 43 years as scoutmaster of Troop 649. Pat retired as Professor of History at Palomar College a few years ago but continued teaching our young boys invaluable skills that BSA provides. Troop 649 is the largest troop in San Diego County and has promoted more Eagle Scouts than any other troop thanks to the untiring leadership of Pat Archer. I have served on Eagle Scout Boards of Review for ten years meeting once a month and just about every meeting there is at least one scout from 649 being promoted. Thank you Pat for your commitment.

It seems my columns about Escondido’s business history are popular with longtime residents. Once again, at the gym, a man I know approached me and thanked me for the memories and a few more names came to mind. Gone some years ago is Reese’s Music Center which was on E. Grand Ave near the soon to be gone hospital. One of the most recognized flower shops in the county is Rosemary-Duff’s which has been in Escondido providing the best in product, design and service for over 40 years. To emphasize their reach, I remember many years ago helping deliver arrangements on Valentine’s Day traveling almost to Chula Vista and along the coast to make someone’s day. Other florists have come and gone but R-D is still here run by the same family.

Another overlooked great business is Glaser-Bailey Trophies which opened in 1973 at 13th/Escondido Blvd. Bill Glaser and George Bailey, both retired U.S. Navy, decided to keep busy by opening the business then purchasing a building on S. Escondido Blvd as the business grew and where it remains today. My history with G-B goes back to 1974 when I solicited bids for trophies for the Jaycees Christmas Parade. They did not have the low bid but the next year they sharpened their pencils and have been supplying parade trophies ever since. Their big claim to fame however came in 1995 during the Super Bowl when on a lark Bill’s son Skip designed a small Lightning Bolt pin in Charger blue and yellow. That pin was a monstrous hit and people were lining up at 7 a.m. waiting to buy one or more after the shop opened at 8 a.m. They worked many extra hours to keep the public supplied, myself included, and they made local and national news. Alas the Chargers are gone but I still have my pin.

Perhaps as a result of the pin success G-B was awarded the contract to prepare the crystal awards for the America’s Cup race later that year. The current owners are Skip and Todd Merrill who started working there as college students in the ‘80’s and continue providing outstanding quality awards.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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