Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Evelyn Ward

Honored October 2012

Evelyn Ward

Evelyn Ward's influence casts a wide net, from animal welfare, emergency management, to the arts. Evelyn cares most deeply for those most vulnerable. She is compassionate and strong; humble and a respected leader; quiet and a powerful presence. Practical and no nonsense, she is a private person, she doesn't just talk--she takes action and gets it done. She guides, teaches and mentors. She never demands or reprimands. Her unlimted support is without ego. When there is a need, Evelyn assesses the problem, and solves it, be it with her own personal resources, recruiting manpower, fundraising, creatiing policies, whatever it takes. While seeing and acting in the bigger picture, she never overlooks recognizing and thanking volunteers in the trenches -- with her. No two legged or four legged creature could ask for a better friend than Evelyn.

Evelyn was heavily involved in the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire. Local shelters were unprepared for the overrun of animals that had to be evacuated. She helped organize efforts at the shelter and rodeo grounds. Large tents were erected to house the hundreds of homeless and frightened animals. From that experience, Evelyn was a key player in getting a new more suitable animal shelter built.

She put in place plans should another disaster occur. Evelyn served as a memeber of the Northern New Mexico Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster representing the "animal world". She trained animal organizations statewide how to successfully evacuate, shelter and care for animals during disaster. State and local agencies call on her during actual events, as well as training. Her efforts were put to the test when the Los Conchas fire burned last year. Shelters and support groups were prepared. When she got the call from the Española Animal Shleter, she immediately sprung into action working with the relevant agencies, FEMA, Rio Arriba County, Los Alamos County and others; a partnership that continues to this day.

When communication lines are down due to fire, ham radio operators provide critical service. Evelyn has been the guiding light in helping Santa Fe Amateur Radio Emegency Service develop a strong relationship with the Santa Fe County Emergency Manager.

Evelyn is a supporter of the arts in a way that matters. She opened a one of a kind independent artist's gallery giving local artists the venue and opportunity to show and sell their work. She is a patraon of the Tribes Coffee House, a popular gathering and meeting place which also displays the art of local artists.

Her friends write, "Evelyn truly cares about the community we live in and knows what it takes to continue supporting those in it, both human and animals, and never misses an opportunity to share her skills." "Making a difference is her great motivator." "Evelyn's efforts as a mentor have shown me what inspiration embodied looks like..she has shown me that there is nothing that dedication can't overcome."

Story by Nancy Dahl

Photo © 2012 by Genevieve Russell