Residents of the Rim Country see Betty Raveling and her Humane Society of Central Arizona (HSCAZ) table at just about every craft fair, First Friday, Aero Fair, rodeo, county fair, classic car show, golf tournament, farmers market, and festival.
For her dedication, HSCAZ honored Raveling as their Volunteer of the Year at their second annual volunteer luncheon.
“Betty Raveling began her ‘career’ as a humane society volunteer in 2006, working on countless projects which have made a very, very important difference for the animals,” said Executive Director Sarah Hock.
Raveling spends hours sitting under her awning, a table draped with a humane society banner and covered with donated place mats, napkins, dog blankets, and dog kerchiefs for sale. She collects raffle ticket money for quilts and baskets — all to support the animals at the shelter.
Her efforts bring a steady source of funds to help feed, shelter and nurse animals that are lost, abandoned or relinquished.
Charmed by her vivacious personality, passersby often find themselves donating their time or resources to help the animals.
“Betty was also the catalyst to bring to HSCAZ a donor who made a fabulous $20,000 donation to the building fund. Through her wonderful smile and extraordinary energy and efforts, Betty has widened our circle of friends and supporters,” said Hock.
Raveling sat at a head table surrounded by friends. More than 90 people attended the event at the Senior Center to watch Raveling receive the award. They enjoyed a lunch prepared by the Senior Center kitchen, a video by the HSCAZ staff, and received gratitude from the board of directors. All involved with the shelter know without the volunteers, many critical tasks such as laundry, dog walking and kennel cleaning would flounder.
“Volunteers are a vital part of the humane society,” said Debbie Stephans, volunteer coordinator.
HSCAZ presented Raveling with a plaque in honor of her many years of service and dedication to the animals.
Yet Raveling knows she can’t do this alone. She is quick to praise all of those who helped her man the table over the years, especially her husband.
His invaluable support includes enhances to her equipment, such as building weights for her awning and making sure she has a comfortable chair.
For every event, he unloads, sets up and breaks down her supplies, packing and unpacking them into their truck while driving her to all of the events.
“We’re still married after 46 years, even putting up with everything. He makes it all work,” said Raveling.
She and her husband hail from Minnesota where Raveling had a reputation for helping.
“She’s exactly like her mother. There isn’t a stray that comes down the road that doesn’t have a home,” said Raveling’s husband Jack.