by Gael Bissell, Kay Mitchell, Linda Winnie.
In November the Flathead Audubon Board voted to recognize Lois Drobish for her 20 years of volunteer work for Flathead Audubon and present her with a Certificate of Recognition for her outstanding service.
Lois has served Flathead Audubon in various capacities in these 20 years. She began her service in September 1998 when she signed on to be part of a 3-member Hospitality Committee, working with Tracy Schiess and Pattie Brown. The duties of the Hospitality Committee can keep three people pretty busy. The Committee provides a Greeter for Flathead Audubon’s monthly general meetings, organizes the donation of treats and makes sure donors got proper thanks and recognition at the meetings, provides member name tags for the meetings, oversees the set up and re-stacking of chairs in the meeting room, organizes arrangements for the yearly May potluck, and oversees the post-potluck cleanup. When in 2004 the Committee dwindled to 1 member – Lois, she took on all of these jobs – with grace and a smile. Last year Cory Davis joined the Committee to help with the chairs job. But she kept on with all the rest. As of September this year, Lois has been taking care of Hospitality tasks for 20 years, and in the course of this has attended all but a couple of the chapter’s general meetings since 1998. Due to health problems, Lois was not able to be at the October meeting, and since then Cory Davis and Joe Batts have become the new Hospitality Committee. They will be kept busy doing all the jobs that Lois has been taking care of all these years.
About 10 years ago, Lois also began participating in the Flathead Audubon Board meetings. Though not a member of the Board, Lois kept the board informed of Hospitality Committee activities and needs, and provided our Board with a valuable historical perspective on many Flathead Audubon issues. She consistently brought our attention to national issues. One of her special projects was to provide milkweed seed packets to Flathead Audubon members to help Monarchs and other pollinators.
Lois has also been a long-time participant in the chapter’s Owen Sowerwine Work Days. Since the first work day in 2002, Lois has been in charge of the sign-in table for work day volunteers. The sign-in sheets she oversaw provide an accurate record of how many volunteers have participated each year, and who they were. And Lois made sure that every work day volunteer signed back in at the end of the work day session, so she could verify that all volunteers were back safe-and-sound from their work in the field. Lois has missed only one work day in the 16 years since they began.
As her years of service continued, Flathead Audubon became a second family to Lois, and she was a valued friend to many of us. We have come to appreciate her kindness and generosity, and to enjoy her sense of humor and her ready smile, and are grateful to her for the gracious and happy atmosphere she worked hard to create for us at our meetings.
The presentation of the Recognition for Outstanding Service was scheduled for November 20. Lois passed away the evening of November 19, surrounded by her family. Her son Kip had told her earlier in the day that Flathead Audubon would be coming the next day to honor her, and he reports this brought a big smile to her face.
The Certificate of Recognition and a copy of theDecember Post with the recognition article on the front page were presented to members of her family on the 20th.