Judy Coyle: 2019 Volunteer of the Year


Last updated 1/23/2020 at 10:06am

Judy Coyle is one of those rare people who organizations large and small salivate over – a volunteer who doesn’t merely talk the talk, but walks the walk. Rain or shine. Willingly and without complaint. Give her something to do, and she does it, with focus and persistence and selfless abandon. More in the shadows than in the spotlight.

Judy was born in Clinton, Ohio, and received her teaching credential from then San Diego State College. She spent two years in the Pacific Grove teaching Department of Defense Third graders, then in Newfoundland on an Air Force base. After four years in Germany teaching on another Air Force base, she married Michael and had a son, Christopher.

In 1977, Michael left active duty and they moved to La Mesa where Judy was a substitute teacher, and did private tutoring, followed by teaching in a private school. Judy then spent 10 years managing an office for a propane company. In 1982, Judy moved to Borrego Springs.

Borrego Springs is a community thriving on the willingness of residents to step up and volunteer, even if it’s a small thing like Judy focusing on her task at the Chamber of Commerce to sell t-shirts for recent Borrego Days Parade & Festival. That’s where she was when her award for the 2019 Volunteer of the Year award was announced at Christmas Circle on Parade Day. Or larger responsibilities, too, with her 20-year service as Treasurer for the Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center. One keeps a job like that, and for such a protracted length of time only by knowing both the big picture and the minutiae involved in financial decision making. “I was told there would be ‘only’ three to four checks to write per month.” That number climbed steadily up to the current 20 – 30 per month.

Theatre renovations in 2000 and 2018 required financial savvy, and Judy was there to help steer BSPAC through to successful completions of both. Keeping track of money seems to be Judy’s forte, as she served as the BSPAC Box Office Manager for 20 years as well. Whether it be season or online tickets, Judy got them printed up and ready to disperse.

Full article in the Oct. 31 issue of the Borrego Sun.