A Quarter-Century of Service: Joy Reis
By Jillian Wiggers,
Joy Reis has been a volunteer with the St. Croix Valley Chapter in Wisconsin since its inception 25 years ago. She and her husband, John, helped found it and have been active committee members ever since.
Joy and John were recently honored for their years of outstanding volunteer service to RMEF. At the ceremony, they were given glass plaques to commemorate their above-and-beyond guidance in the volunteer world and commitment to protecting elk and other wildlife.
They were also given a committee service pin marking the anniversary. In fact, Joy has kept every single volunteer pin that has been given to her over the years, starting in ‘92. The result is a lanyard heavy in both metal and memories.
The couple’s leadership has helped the St. Croix Valley Chapter flourish. During the chapter’s first year, they received an award for outstanding new chapter activity. And last year, in their 24th year of volunteering, the chapter became the second Wisconsin chapter to reach the $1 million net fundraising level.
“We figured we must be doing something right,” Joy said.
Wisconsin Regional Director Lou George has known and worked with Joy for 16 years. Joy is always positive and upbeat, George says, and her great personality shines through in her work on the committee.
“My husband firmly believes in the cause of being an avid hunter, and I do too. We enjoy what we’ve been doing. It’s just kind of grown to be a part of us,” Reis says. “We’ve had our son and our daughter work with us through the years. Our grandkids have grown and helped us at the banquet through the years also. Our 24-year-old granddaughter still comes back, as well as our 21-year-old grandson.”
Scott Nilssen, St. Croix chapter chair, says Joy and John glue the chapter together. Nilssen has worked with them for 15 years, and he keeps coming back each year because of them. He enjoys how smoothly everything runs with them around, he says.
“What I think is great in today's society is John and Joy see things from a disciplined perspective— yes, sir; no, sir—and they show that to sponsors,” Nilssen says. “If you give, they are going to show that appreciation.”
Twenty-five years is a landmark anniversary, and some might consider it a good stopping point. But Joy and John don’t plan on quitting any time soon.