Ginny Hughes wears many hats as a Fairfield volunteer

FAIRFIELD — Ginny Hughes has lived in Fairfield for more than 20 years, and in that time she has touched the lives of countless people through her work with every civic organization in town.

Some residents may know Hughes in a professional capacity through his roles at companies such as Hawthorne Direct, Jefferson County Health Center, and most recently SunnyBrook Assisted Living before retiring two years ago.

Others may know Hughes from the many charitable groups and boards he has served on, including his tenures as president of Fairfield Rotary, the Fairfield Lions Club, and the Board of Directors of the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hughes says his interest in volunteering started in high school, in his hometown of Long Island, New York.

“Volunteering was part of our curriculum, and I volunteered at a nursing home,” recalls Hughes. “That instilled in me as a 15 year old the importance of getting out of your comfort zone by reading to residents or helping them write letters. That’s where I realized how fulfilling volunteering can be.

Hughes attended college in Colorado, and lived in Boulder for about 25 years before moving to Fairfield in 2002. He was looking for a slower pace of life, and had the opportunity to work for a major advertising firm, Hawthorne Direct.

“To work for a company like that, you usually have to live in New York or Los Angeles,” says Hughes.

A few years later, Hughes became marketing director for Jefferson County Health Center, helping to promote its new hospital which opened in 2009. After working for JCHC for about seven years, Hughes became marketing director at SunnyBrook Assisted Living.

Hughes joined Rotary while living in Boulder. At that time, Rotary was a more exclusive club, and new members had to be invited to join.

“I love everything about Rotary, like the ability to meet people you wouldn’t have met before,” says Hughes.

Hughes continued his membership of Rotary after moving to Fairfield, and in 2006 he became club president. The president’s duties involve presiding over weekly meetings, in which 45 people attend, and directing the club toward its goals.

“The Rotary Club of Fairfield has done some great things around the world,” said Hughes. “We have raised money through auctions that are helping water projects in Nepal, and we have been doing local things like helping with playgrounds.”

Hughes also served as Assistant District Governor and District Membership Chair at Rotary.

Around the time Hughes started working for SunnyBrook, he joined the Fairfield Lions Club. She says she’s already friends with some of the group, and it’s nice to get to know some new faces too.

Hughes is still active at the Lions, and he says the club has had to suspend some of its activities during the pandemic, but is preparing a fundraiser this fall, a waffle breakfast on Oct. 28.

“We will be holding it at the Fairfield Community Center, and will be funding scholarships and other needs in the community,” said Hughes.

In 2012, while Hughes was working at JCHC, he became president of the chamber’s board. It wasn’t an easy year to become president of the board as the chamber’s executive director left, and the interim director left as well. It was a difficult transitional period for the assembly, but fortunately the organization survived and a new director was found. In addition to serving as president of the board for a year, Hughes served on the Christmas Committee and the Committee on Ambassadors.

In recent years, Hughes has added another group to which he belongs, and that is the Fairfield Community Center, formerly known as the Fairfield Senior Citizen Center. He said the aim of the organization is to provide a place for seniors to gather, either through meals or programs. In the last two years, this building has undergone renovations on both the main and basement floors.

“It was changed cosmetically through the hard work of the volunteers on that board,” says Hughes.

Milestones Area Agency on Aging hosts lunch there every weekday, and delivers food to seniors in their homes and to Mt. Hughes says he wants to encourage anyone over 60 to try it.

One of the first groups Hughes joined when he moved to the city was the Jefferson County Trails Council.

“It was a great introduction to Fairfield,” he said. “I am an avid hiker, and I come from a very active outdoor community in Boulder.”

Other organizations important to Hughes were his PEO chapter and St. Mary, where he was on the church council. He is on the Family Life Committee, which organizes meals for special occasions such as Easter, and donates food to the Lutheran Church’s Drive-In Supper.

Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at [email protected]

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