Cheryl Newhall has spent her life looking out. That is, she’s really good at giving to, thinking of, and caring for others.
Some in Evergreen may know Cheryl as the Evergreen High School Girls’ JV Basketball coach, some know her as the impressive photographer of Cheryl Newhall Photography, while others know her through non-profits for which she works tirelessly in order to help others.
Cheryl was born on Long Island but considers her home state to be Illinois. “We moved there when I was just starting school, so that really was my home.” It was there, in the Midwest, where Cheryl fell in love not only with basketball. It was her talent in basketball that brought her to Colorado.
“I was a recruited basketball athlete at the Air Force Academy. Cheryl’s husband, Quinn, played on the football team. “That’s where we met.” Cheryl majored in Operations Research Analysis, so although pleased that she was able to join Quinn at Eglin Air Force base in Florida, she wasn’t as pleased with her assignment.
“I was put on Protocol duty.” With a sincere stone-face she continued, “I didn’t want to do that. That’s not what I had trained to do.” Typical of Cheryl, she turned her experience into a positive, accompanied with a big smile. “But then it was great. I took care of Senators and other VIPs. I met Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Reba McIntyre, Miss America. You’ve got to make the best of every situation,” she said, “No matter where God places you, you make it work.” Her positive attitude has resulted in her living a very nice life.
She and Quinn were married in 1985, “ten days after graduation. What was I thinking? How could I have done that to my mother?” she laughed and shook her head. They moved to Dayton, Ohio. “I love Ohio. It’s very family oriented, friendly, with mid-western values. Their oldest child, Bryson, was born in 1991 and yet, while Cheryl served full-time she also earned her Masters in Operations Research. “In 1992 I left the military. I thought it would be hard; I always thought I would be a career officer.”
Her husband had also left the military, which enabled them have a more settled life. Cheryl and her family moved to Evergreen in 2004. “I was so blessed to be in a position where I could stay home with our kids. (Logan and Haley came along later.) I taught Sunday school and was active in the kids’ classes, PTA” and other community causes.
As her family grew, Cheryl made time to focus on her photography. “I’ve loved photography since I was in Middle School.” She laughed aloud as she recalled her early days “when the flash was a little round bulb that would ‘pop.’ I remember being so excited when they came out with flashes that held eight bulbs.” A self-taught photographer, Cheryl immerses herself in classes, workshops, online instruction and continues to grow through her dedication to the art.
Many see her as a great senior portrait photographer, “which I love to do. I usually know the kids and it’s so fun to bring out their personality in the photo, but my favorite thing is action/sports photography. I was always the mom who handed out to parents photos of their children. So many people encouraged me to sell them.” As EHS boys’ soccer booster, she started taking photographs of all the teams. She then worked with Stingers (now Altitude), Evergreen Parks and Recreation Center, EHS basketball, West Jeff baseball and Evergreen Lacrosse. “I’ve been able to take two things that I love – sports and photography – and tie them together.” She happily admits that she’s “not trying to grow the business because I love it as it is; I don’t want it to control me.” Besides, finding more time would be nearly an impossible challenge.
As coach of the EHS girls’ basketball team, which she would love to continue doing even after her youngest graduates, she thrives in the experience. “Isn’t the job of a coach to pull the best out of each kid?” She glows in seeing an athlete accomplish a team and/or personal goal.
Meeting goals is something that brings Cheryl joy. Perhaps that is why she has dedicated herself so fully to many, but three in particular, non-profit organizations. Currently she is the Chair of the local Salvation Army unit in Evergreen. “Ninety percent of the Red Kettle Campaign raised in Evergreen remains here. The money helps with rent, medical, dental, glasses, auto repair, food, utilities, funeral expenses, and sponsors kids to attend the Salvation Army camp in Estes Park.
She is also heavily involved in Seeds of Hope (seedsofhopeevergreen.com), an Evergreen organization that pairs those who serve with those in need. “Most of our work is done through volunteers. It’s easy to sign up and get involved.” SOH helps others with wood drives, adopting a Title 1 Jeffco class at Christmas, Easter Gift Baskets, Thanksgiving and Christmas gift cards, back to school supplies, meals for community members in need, and Valentine’s cards for Mean Street Ministry, yet another group Cheryl believes in.
She smiles sincerely and shrugs the simplicity of her message, “There are so many ways people can help.”