It’s not Jan Radcliff’s thing to be featured in a column about volunteers. But when the Moab Sun News posed it as an important way to celebrate Moab’s unique community, Radcliff, as she often does when asked to contribute to something positive, said yes.
“Volunteering is in her blood,” said Debbie Thurman, a longtime friend and chair of the Moab youth organization responsible for the Back to School program and the Make One Take One holiday gift exchange.
Radcliff has been part of those events since their inception more than seven years ago, for which Thurman said she is indescribably grateful.
“She doesn’t just show up,” Thurman said. “She shows up first and is engaged the whole time. She sees everything through until the very end.”
She does feel that service is something of a calling to her, Radcliff said. She was raised in Moab and returned with her children in the 1990s. Since then, she’s lent her skills and enthusiasm to community organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, assisting with events and communication, among other activities. As Moab has shifted to a popular destination for travelers from all walks of life, she has embraced the opportunity to engage with an international community through her deep commitment to local service.
“It’s just my nature,” she said. “It’s fun to be part of the enthusiasm and the excitement.”
The Moab Half Marathon was Radcliff’s first experience volunteering with the recreation-driven events in town. When her daughter signed up to run, Radcliff signed up to volunteer. The first year she handed out bags. Before long, she got the certifications necessary to help with food and alcohol and became a seminal figure in beer gardens and concessions areas at not only the half marathons but other events like the Moab Music Festival, Moab Celtic Festival, Moab Arts Festival, Jeep Safari and Scots on the Rocks.
“I’ve done everything, and it’s been fun,” she said. “It’s scary at first, but you overcome it,” she said.
The half marathon beer garden was her gateway to engaging at a deeper level with tourists in the community, she said.
“You realize the people there are just mom and pop, and you’re just meeting all these people like you from all over the world,” she said. “I just love it.”
Embracing all that the community has to offer is important to Radcliff, she said. Balance is important in any community, especially because it’s necessary to raise healthy and successful young people.
“Jan is completely devoted to the kids,” Thurman said. “She has deep compassion and concern for young people.”
Leading in her own way by contributing, Radcliff makes an impact on business leaders, community members and travelers passing through because of the sincerity of her dedication to the whole community, Thurman said.
This profile was made possible by the generous support of Rocky Mountain Power.
This Week: Jan Radcliff