"She is Star Valley Ranch, if I can tell you that." - Pam Schupt
Nestled away in a western Wyoming town of nearly 1500, lives Nora Simmons; Pam Schupt, a friend of Nora Simmons says, "She is Star Valley Ranch, if I can tell you that."
The 82-year-old first moved to Star Valley Ranch before it was even considered a town and one thing’s for sure; anybody looking to follow in her footsteps feels right at home. "New neighbors come and we get together to have a little party. She does all those things," Schupt said. While Jefferson Award Nominee Nora Simmons says, "To welcome and greet people so they feel happy and glad they moved here."
However, Nora does much more than just welcomes people to the neighborhood. She volunteers at the local hospital and has helped establish the food bank in the little town of Thayne. "We stand out at the grocery store twice a year with pamphlets and ask them to bring one can. Please bring us one can and so everybody that goes in we ask them to bring one can and that's one of our big drives,” Simmons said.
Although, she still has enough time to enjoy of her hobbies, sewing, but it’s for much more than just leisure. Dorothy Alsop, a friend to Nora Simmons says, "So I called her and I said Nora we're doing all these humanitarian quilts and want to send them to Mongolia, where I've been teaching, and she said oh that would just save my life right now. I haven't got anything to do and I would love that so she's been piecing quilts for us ever since like 2000."
Then after holding monthly potlucks, going to bible study, participating in the church choir, supporting all of Star Valley Athletics, donating blood six times a year, and volunteering at the local hospital. You might be wondering: how does Nora keep it going?
"I think it keeps her busy for one thing. She's alone now and if we don't keep busy we die so we've got to keep on keeping on," Alsop said. While Simmons says, "It's just so satisfying knowing that I helped someone. It just makes me feel good."
After everything she does there is one specific thing that really stands out. "One day I got a call from the hospital say could you come in and rock a baby and they didn't have time to sit and hold the baby and I loved doing that. So I’ve gotten to do that a couple times," Simmons said. Alsop and Schupt agree. "She just does everything you can think of," Alsop said, while Schupt says, "She focuses on everything and everybody in all different ways."
However, if you ask Nora, she doesn’t do it for the recognition. "A lot of times I do things so people don't and they don't know that I did it and that's fine," Simmons said.