"Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so  much." -Helen Keller

RRRB VOLUNTEERS

george beard2
guy bethell
tina britton
connie brodland
leo campero.jpeg
gary cohen
howard cohen
claudette cohn
rose and david.jpeg
kathleen depukat
debra fain
marie farmer
linda furman
carolyn gelazela
jackie huget
orrin johnson
richard kerr
rick ketcherside_edited.jpg
mel livatino
don myers
denise myrick
herb norton
fred rothert
sarah shew
nancy snediker
joyce voss
paige wilbur
dan.jpeg

George Beard is a Denver native, born there in 1951.  George and his family moved west when he was young and settled in Arvada, a suburb west of Denver.  At 18, George married, at 19 become an MP and was sent to Vietnam in 1972.  After three years in the Army, George became a police officer in a small northern community and ended up as the Chief of Police at age 24. Three years later he went back to college, then worked in a variety of positions in the Denver area.  Eventually George worked with blind seniors and Medicaid Single Entry Points in Denver and Jefferson Counties.  After retiring, George and his wife moved to Arizona and in 2008 bought a home in Litchfield Park.  George enjoys golf, volunteering and helping out with residents locally.  George serves on the RRRB Board of Directors.

 

Guy Bethell was employed by American Express when he moved to Arizona from New York in 1989.  After retiring 10 years ago, he joined RRRB as a reader.  In addition to his work on the Talking News, Guy records audio books.  He also sings with the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, which was founded in 1929 and is the longest continuously performing arts group in the State of Arizona.  He and his wife have two adult children, both of whom live in Europe.

Tina Britton is a Florida native who lived there until moving to Arizona with her husband Keith six years ago.  A graduate of Rollins College, she retired last year from an executive position with a residential appraisal management company and began volunteering as a director at RRRB soon after.  She is an avid traveler, enjoys reading, games of all kinds, and plays mahjong regularly. 

 

Connie Brodland is a volunteer reader with Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind.  Her background is administrative/secretarial with the public school system and corporate setting. Upon retirement she had a day trip bus traveling business for 7 years. It ended with the pandemic.  She is married to Ray Brodland, a retired cabinet maker/maintenance man.  Connie is the mother of three adult children, one deceased, grandmother and great grandmother.  Connie has been with RRRB since 2016.  She was recruited by Doug Wright, Board President, to become a member of the Board of Directors.  She still serves on the board and continues to be a reader.  

Leo Campero manages the social media accounts for Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind. Leo and his family have been in Arizona since 2017. Leo is currently on active duty with the U.S. Air Force stationed at Luke AFB in Glendale.  Prior to joining the Air Force he served the State of Minnesota as the Asst. Executive Director for the MN Board of Psychology, the state's regulatory agency that governs the practice of psychology. Leo enjoys photography, working out, learning new things and having new experiences.  He loves all things technology as well as reading non-fiction.  When reading fiction, his favorite genre is science-fiction. Leo has been with RRRB since 2020. He was looking for an opportunity to serve the community remotely during COVID and came across the opportunity on VolunteerMatch.

Gary Cohen hosts the Valley Volunteers Today program on KRUV Radio Sun.  Born and raised in New York City, Gary has a BA in Journalism to the world of radio and decades of experience as producer, editor, writer and correspondent at a variety of radio stations in New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles and West Palm Beach, Florida where he gave live reports on hurricanes and covered presidential visits.  Gary and his wife Enid moved to Sun City West in 2018 and since that time has been involved on the air at KSCW Radio.  Gary and Enid are both avid readers and love live theatre – a love that has led them to travel to England and France as well as several cross country car trips.  Gary brings his 40 years of radio experience to RRRB along with his influence as part of the Sun City West Broadcast Club and the Sun City West Foundation.

 

Howard Cohen is a volunteer reader at the Recorded Recreational Reading for the blind, having begun in early 2021.  Originally from Chicago, Howard is a self-described kosher ham – an 18-year old folk singer who lost track of the past 60 years.  He would love a career doing voiceovers, commercials, narration; and his volunteer work at the studio provides him with an opportunity to do what he loves.  Howard has been married for the past 54 years and has two beautiful, smart daughters.  When not at work as a customer service representative for the State Department, answering questions about passport status, he goes to open mics where he sings and plays guitar.  He’d love to have voice acting lessons!!

Claudette Cohn was born in Chicago, and says her mother told her that at birth she looked like a tomato.  She grew up in Champaign, Illinois from age four.  She’s worked as a secretary, liked it, and studied graphic design at the University of Illinois.  She’s living in Sun City – and likes the quiet in the desert.   Claudette loves movies – has seen thousands – one of her favorites is the Shawshank Redemption.  She is volunteering as a narrator – and has a distinctive style. 

 

 

Rose Anne Colavito and David Ganje, KRUV Radio Sun interviewers,  are relative newcomers to radio broadcasting, both having taken a leap into the deep end when interviewing two very accomplished and thoughtful local teenage girls.  The result:  they came away laughing, giggling and enlightened.  In addition, Rose Anne records book reviews for the Arizona Talking Books Library.  Both Rose Anne and Dave are thankful to be able to volunteer for Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind and say “It's a Hoot!!”

 

Kathleen Depukat came to Sun City 16 years ago with her husband Ed to provide care for her parents until they passed in 2017. Before that Kathy and Ed were full-time RVers for seven years after retiring from working in the Northern Virginia area. Ed was a consultant while Kathy was a manager in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in D.C. She also worked as a Project Manager at the Bureau of Land Management in both Nevada and Phoenix, working on their solar and other large-scale projects. Ed and Kathy have two children and five grandchildren all living in the Northern Virginia area.

 

Debra Fain.  After moving from Montana to Sun City, where she lives with her parents, Debra drove past the studio regularly and was curious about what was done there.  One day about five years ago, she stopped to find out and has been a volunteer reader since that time.  Debra has worked in nursing for 40 years.  She loves to travel and spent 12 years of her career as a traveling nurse in Alaska.  She has two sisters, one who lives in the Phoenix area and the other in Texas. 

Marie Farmer is a relatively new volunteer reader with Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind, although it's been on her Wanna-Do list for a long time.  Her professional background includes teaching English as a Second Language in Tokyo, California, and the Washington, D.C. area, followed by a stint as a travel agent/owner, and then caregiver to her late husband.  Once retired, she discovered a plethora of clubs and activities in a del Webb community, which allowed her to explore new hobbies, perfect some others, and even let her Evil Twin out on the stage a time or two.  Now re-married, she & her husband had begun exploring the world on an accelerated basis which they are eager to continue, but she is thrilled that she can continue her reading/recording sessions in between her trips.

Linda Furman has been a volunteer reader with Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind since 2019. Her background is in elementary education, with most of her years spent as a Title-1 teacher, working with struggling reading and math students. A Phoenix native, she lived in some faraway, interesting places before returning to the valley in 2011. Her favorites were Juneau, AK, Williamsburg, VA and Placerville, CA. Linda has been putting her theater background to use, reading single-read books at the studio, and is working on starting a program at RRRB to record books for children and teens who struggle to read. She also does the “Let’s Eat!” portion of the West Valley Talking News. Linda is married to Bill Furman, a retired construction and engineering contractor. She is the mom to two adult children and five adult stepchildren.

Carolyn Gelazela has been a volunteer reader for Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind for about 15 years, first recording textbooks for school usage and later doing private reader books in addition to the news.  Married for 56 years, she and her hubby, Gerry, a retired metallurgist, have 4 children and 7 grandchildren.  Previous to being a Mom, she was a claims manager for an insurance agency.  She was twice a candidate of public office (county council) in Maryland, her home state.   She returned to employment as a cleaning lady and later bought and operated a shoeshine chair in a Marriott Hotel for 13 years.  She enjoys fitness exercising and reading.  Her real love has been teaching teens the Catholic Faith for over 30 years, at local parishes- currently at Santa Teresita in El Mirage. 

Jackie Huget is involved with the clerical tasks at Recorded Recreational Readling for the Blind, primarily cataloging the cassettes as they are returned, erasing them and preparing them to mail out again the following week.  She’s been with RRRB since 2018, having heard about the opportunity when it was presented at her church.  Jackie was married for 54 years when her husband passed away in 2016.  They had two children, two grandchildren and one great grandchild, with another on the way.  Before volunteering at RRRB, Jackie taught music in public schools for nearly 30 years.  She loves to read, watch TV series and work jigsaw puzzles.

 

Orrin Johnson has volunteered as a director with Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind and for the Arizona Talking Books Library since around 2010 or thereabouts.  His technical experience with audio and computers was invaluable when making the transition from tape to digital recording.  Orrin’s primary focus when directing is recording books for the National Library Service.  

Richard Kerr received his degree in Mass Communications from Arizona State University.  He has been involved in radio since 1970.  For 16 years Richard volunteered as a reader of the USA Today for Sun Sounds of Arizona. In 2016 he became a volunteer with Recreational Reading for the Blind (KRUV) as an announcer/reader.  Recently, Richard began hosting a weekend show “Relaxing Eclectic Waves.”  Early in Richard’s life in radio he learned one’s musical taste must be varied: Acoustic Jazz, Big Band, Classical, Rock and Roll to Standards.  Richard and his wife have been married for 48 years and have two adult children and three grandchildren.  They are retired and living in Payson, Arizona.  Thanks to John Schumacher Richard’s program, Relaxing Eclectic Waves, is also heard on a not-for-profit station in Payson.

Rick Ketcherside recently joined our group of volunteers as a Director. He is a rare phenomenon in that he is an Arizona native, born in the city of Mesa. Rick has great qualifications for his job as a Director, since he spent 19 years working in Technical Support. He also tried his hand at a smokehouse catering business, but Covid became a reality and caused the new business to falter. Rick is single and has many interests. He shared his love for martial arts as the manager of a Scottsdale school until recently. He then began looking for a place to volunteer and found RRRB on Volunteer Match. He “loves it here” and plans to use his technical capabilities to help RRRB in whatever ways he can. 

Mel Livatino began volunteering as a reader for RRRB in April, 2021.  He is from Evanston, IL and taught English in the City Colleges of Chicago for 36 years.  Before that he edited a magazine for Sears Roebuck employees for three years and before that he worked in a printing plant for eight years.  He has three sons, one stepdaughter & two stepsons, ten grandchildren, and six step-grandchildren.  In 2015 his wife died after 11 years of Alzheimer’s.  In 2017 he bought a home in Sun City.  He has published many essays in the Sewanee Review, Notre Dame Magazine, Under the Sun, Portland Magazine, and other venues — and that’s the thing he most loves, writing.  He swims a mile every day and golfs whenever he has a partner.  

 

Don Myers is a reader with Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind.  Don served in the Air Force during the Korean War.  He and his wife Alma have three children and more than 30 grandchildren.  Don and Alma both taught elementary school until retiring in 1972.  Don and Alma, now deceased, volunteered as full time Rangers for the National Park Service, serving 18 years at Dinosaur National Monument.  Since 2004, Don has been a volunteer with the Braille Talking Book Library.  He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for RRRB.  

Denise Myrick is from New York, having moved to Arizona when her husband transferred for work and her two now-grown sons were very young.   A former preschool director and current children’s church worker, Denise finds time for her family and helping her friends.  She loves to garden, work on-line jigsaw puzzles, swim, walk and shop and is active at her church.  Denise lives in Peoria with her husband Rick and enjoys gourmet cooking as prepared by her mother, Diane.  Denise volunteers at RRRB as bookkeeper.

 

Herb Norton records the Science News at home for RRRB.  He has been with RRRB for about 3 years, but before that he recorded textbooks for Recording for the Blind since the mid 70s.  While he has a PhD in physics, for most of his career, he was a software developer for Bell Labs.  He also spent 10 years as a part time dance teacher.  Herb is now a Master Tax Advisor for H&R Block.  He is married to Sue who is a retired teacher and corporate secretary.  They enjoy hiking, traveling, and ballroom dancing and are active in their church.  Herb has two adult daughters and two grandchildren.

Fred Rothert is a reader with Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind, primarily reading the sports report and occasionally other things.  Fred, who is from Indiana, was a professional musician until age 40 when he began a career teaching high school English and history.  At present, Fred is retired.  Fred and Bonnie have been married for 41 years and have a son and two daughters.  In addition to his family, Fred loves music, classic films, sports, cooking, reading and hiking.  Fred has been involved with West Valley Talking News since sometime in 2018, introduced through his friendship with Buck Miner who went to the studio for an interview.  

 

Sarah Shew is a volunteer director with Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind.  Her background is secretarial and administrative primarily with law firms and the Arizona court system.  For the past 15 years she has been practicing real estate, helping people buy and sell.   She is married to Steve Shew, a retired college professor of mathematics, and is the mother of an adult daughter, Jenny Kew.  Her interests include reading and knitting.  She has been with RRRB since 2018, having been “recruited” by her friend Paige Wilbur.  She also serves on RRRB’s Board of Directors.

Nancy Snediker was born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.  She has five children, ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren spread across the country in Florida, Maryland, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona.  Nancy  worked for United Airlines for 34 years – as legal secretary, selling charter flights and IT including quality assurance, programming and systems analysis, and project management.  Nancy retired in 2000 and moved to Sun Lakes, coming to Sun City in September 2021.  Nancy is a Lions Club member, a member of the Women’s Club and currently is transferring Old Time Radio classic cassettes to MP3 format for use on KRUV Radio Sun.  Nancy’s hobbies include travel, jigsaw puzzles and reading.

Joyce Voss, after reading about RRRB in the Sun City Independent, came to see the studio to find out how she might help. Joyce Voss is now a new reader for the West Valley Talking News.  She and her husband Chuck have been AZ residents since the fall of 2020.  After spending a decade visiting for 6 weeks in the winter, the Pandemic helped them decide to move out west permanently. Professionally Joyce was a teacher and then a librarian in Illinois.  Public speaking and leading discussion groups were routine parts of her career. Her current interests include volunteering for the Friends of the Sun City Libraries, spending time at the West Valley Genealogy Center, and volunteering at St Elizabeth Seton Parish.  Joyce’s three adult children and three grandsons all live east of the Mississippi River, but she manages to see them several times a year.

Paige Wilbur, who retired from the insurance industry after more than 20 years when her first grandchild born, has been a volunteer reader at Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind for many years.  She also serves on the Board of Directors.   Paige is married to James, a military retiree.  They are the parents of daughter Brandy Pitcher, and grandparents of Alex and Olivia.  Paige’s interests include reading, music, traveling and cooking.

 

Dan Zemke started as a volunteer reader in February, 2021 at the invitation of Sarah Shew. He was born and raised in Kansas and moved to Arizona in 1970. He earned a BS in Accounting from ASU and served the State of Arizona as a bureaucrat, retiring after almost 38 years in 2009. He has been a widower since 2018 and has five grown children and nine grandchildren. His interests include reading, music, and puzzles of any kind.  Dan is serving as Treasurer on the RRRB Board of Directors.