The Rim Country has benefited from Rosalind Schuerer's volunteer efforts for more than two decades. Those efforts have now been recognized by President George W. Bush.
Schuerer was a recipient last month of the President's Call to Service Award from the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.
In the letter accompanying the award, the president said, "In January 2002, I called on all Americans to dedicate at least 4,000 hours over the course of their lives to serve others at home or abroad. I congratulate you and all American who have answered this call to service and reached this goal. Americans of all ages can serve others in countless ways ... Through the USA Freedom Corps and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, we are building a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America that will last for decades to come."
"I've probably done more than 4,000 hours of volunteer work," Schuerer said.
She devotes five days a week to a variety of activities around town, including work for the Payson Senior Citizens Center, the Senior Circle, the Payson Regional Medical Center and the Payson Woman's Club.
"I'm up between 5 and 6 every morning, then I come home and take a nap at 1 p.m.," she said. After her nap, she gets her mail and writes letters.
"I still have a lot of family back in Wisconsin and like to stay in touch with them," Schuerer said.
Her last visit to her home state was two years ago, now her family has to come visit her.
"I told them I'd come back at least once a year for 30 years, and now I was going to stay home and they could come see me," she said.
The award from President Bush is not the first honor Schuerer has received for her volunteer work. In 2003 she was named the Payson Senior Circle's Volunteer of the Year for devoting more than 1,000 hours of time to that organization alone.
In the late 1980s, she and her late husband, Hans, were instrumental in getting the senior center into its present location, and both served on its board of directors for many years.
The Schuerers came to Payson in 1974 and bought the Roundup in 1975, after Hans had worked in its ad sales department for a year. Rosalind became the paper's bookkeeper, though she did not consider it an especially strong skill. They sold the paper after four years. At that time, she went into the real estate industry, working with Dennis Christensen of Coldwell Banker. She stayed with the company for 10 years, then turned her many talents to the volunteer work that she attributes to her good health.
"Everyone should get out and do it," she said. "Don't hesitate to volunteer. We need people at the senior center and its thrift store."