There is definitely something wrong with the dictionary app in my laptop. I entered ‘volunteer’ and it came up with "a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task." What it should read is: Lori Frease.
Lori is well known throughout Conifer, Evergreen, and likely her hometown of Longmont. “I learned to volunteer from my parents. My dad was always fixing things for people, and my mom was always cooking or running errands for others. They were always doing for others.” The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Lori and her husband, Deane, moved to Conifer in 1997. They and their three children quickly became a part of the community. “When we moved here, friends said that we would be so isolated that we would never make any friends. I volunteered at Marshdale Elementary, and still today I have the dearest friends from there. Volunteering is a way to give back and to meet people.”
Lori started her volunteering when she was a young girl, alongside her parents. She went on to be a part of the volunteer drill team at her high school. Studying Marketing, she was a member of the Tri Delta sorority. You guessed it, after completing her studies, she volunteered as a sorority advisory alum.
Her marketing education ended up serving her well. “We moved to the area in 1997 and attended Rockland Community Church. They were looking for an interim to volunteer as the Children’s Education Director and in March, 2002 I ended up in the position.” She laughs at the notion of “how to create a marketing plan to keep young children interested in coming back each Sunday.”
It’s not a straight-shooting résumé that she presents; multitasking is obviously one of her talents. While Lori was busy working hard for the youth of Rockland, by February of 2012, she also served as Administrator, providing the resource guide and newsletter for Mean Street Ministries, a group that “assists the homeless and working poor,” she explained. “They do such good work. They work on both the east and the west sides of town. They provide food and bibles.” While she was working part-time for Mean Street Ministries, she also stepped up to work for another group that does good work.
In February of 2013 she began working as the Administrative Coordinator for the Evergreen Chorale. While guests to the Chorale find ticket sales, refreshments, parking and performances professionally handled, rounding out a great night by performers means that someone has worked hard. That someone was Lori, always with a smile or an answer to a problem. She could be spotted early, setting up tables, organizing the cash drawer, or directing traffic outside.
Staying loyal to the Chorale she added to her plate volunteering with the Conifer Chamber of Commerce and the Evergreen Chamber. “They asked me to join them because of my connections to non-profits. There are 24 non-profit organizations that are members of the Chamber.” She went on to emphasize how involvement in the chamber is not only a means of ‘friendraising’ but also builds community. “You can put as much as you want into it.”
In April of 2013 she took on the full-time position as Director of Development of Evergreen Christian Outreach (EChO), once again capitalizing on her marketing skills. Lori is quick to tell you that she loves the work she does. “We have interns who are so enthusiastic and the volunteers are incredible. Everyone involved at EChO,” including not only staff but volunteers “is so dedicated. EChO reaches out in so many ways to make sure that everyone in our community is taken care of.”
She’s part of the Evergreen Extension of the Salvation Army, not only ringing the bell but also helping to oversee how donations are distributed. Lori has also involved herself in Leadership Evergreen and in the past was a part of Marshdale CLUB (Conifer Lobo Unified Boosters). “Instead of each sport having a booster club, we came together to raise funds for all the kids in the community. It was fun to get to know other volunteers who I wouldn’t have met unless we had worked cooperatively.” She has also been spotted working at the free concerts at the lake and the Boogie at the Barn concerts. “That has really been fun and everyone involved has welcomed me into that community.”
Asked what it is that drives her, she laughed and said with a shrug, “I can’t sit still.” But then she leaned forward and said, “No – I get this from my parents. It’s my mother’s German work ethic.”
Perhaps what makes Lori’s professional life so rich and rewarding is that she approaches each job as if she is a volunteer, never losing the passion and determination to make each organization thrive. Evergreen and Conifer are so much better for all she has given to our communities.
She reflected and said, “This is something I so love about this community – people give of their time, treasure and talents.”