Portales retiree spends time volunteering

Steve Tuttle is a retired resident of Portales.

Why type of volunteering work do you do? Donna, my wife, and I do a lot of volunteer work for Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce. We are part of the comittee that plans the Ag Expo every year. We help set up, work and tear down everything after the two-day expo is over. Then, during the summer, we work Heritage Days with the Chamber. We also do a lot of volunteer work at the United Methodist Church. We are heavily involved in the yearly turkey dinner. Over 2,000 people are served during that meal. It takes a lot to prepare that large of a meal. We cook around 72 turkeys as well as vegtables and pies. We even make homemade stuffing. It really takes a lot of volunteers to get something like that up and running.

How did you get involved with volunteering? Well, a few years ago when we moved to Portales, Donna became real involved with a lot of organizations. Somewhere along the line she met Frankye King. Frankye is the mother of Sharon King, who is the executive director for the Chamber of Commerce. Frankye commented one day that my wife and I would make great volunteers for the Chamber. So we did.

Why do you volunteer? My wife and I love to give back to the community. Little towns like Portales give so much, so I feel it’s about time we give something back. We are retired, so we have a lot of time. I don’t want to play golf every day. We enjoy it and enjoy the people that we work with.

Would you encourage others to volunteer? If so, why? I would highly encourage others to volunteer. There are so many organizations, even just here in Portales, that need volunteers to help get projects off the ground. You know, volunteering isn’t always grueling work. It can be a lot of fun.

How do you handle stress and setbacks that you encounter while volunteering? I just look back on the 30 years that I spent in the insurance business. I did business with people when they are at their worst. Maybe they just had a fire at their house or a car accident. So, I had to learn how to be sympathetic to people and let them know that it’s going to be okay. If you let the stress take over, you’ll lose your health and everything else. You have to learn how to handle the stress correctly. It will make life so much easier.

What is your favorite holiday? Easter and Christmas. They are both equal. My wife and I are very religious, so they both mean a lot to us.

What is your favorite sport to watch? Golf. My wife says that I like all of them.

What is the best place you have ever lived or visited? We went to see my oldest brother about a year and a half ago. He lives on Whidbey Island, which is right off the cost of Seattle, Wash. It is breathtaking. I saw 100-foot trees and the ocean. There were even wild raspberries and blueberries that grew right along the roads. I was in the Navy, so I have been all over the world. I would say that this island was the most breathtaking place I have ever been.

What do you do in your free time? I play golf. My wife and I also like to travel. We enjoy the small trips to just get away. We also enjoy cruises.

What is your favorite art form? Probably music because it relaxes me. I love the oldies, but I have learned to appreciate new stuff too.