After Sharon’s husband, Roy, died in 2008, Tom and Tracie Rich knew that Sharon needed to stay active. Tom had served on the board 15-20 years ago and recommended that Sharon volunteer here. Both Tom and Tracie are members of the NKC Housing Committee to explore options for affordable housing in northern Kent County.

Tracie Rich, Broker/Owner at ReMax United, says, “I grew up next door to Sharon on Myers Lake. She’s my second mom!”

“When I need to talk with Sharon, we meet on her front porch; it’s her favorite spot in the world. She always gives me good ol’ honest advice. Sharon is strong-willed but soft-hearted. Raised on the south side of Chicago, she fights for what she wants; she has a fierce personality but doesn’t come across that way at all. People can’t say no to Sharon because of her sweet demeanor, and she is very self-sufficient.

Sharon worked for many years as a teacher and elementary school principal in the Rockford Public Schools. She’s an accomplished painter and woodworker, and loved painting Karen’s Kids murals. She liked to dress up as characters in books and read to the kids — anything to get them excited about reading. She was in tune with her students and her teachers; she saw firsthand the children that came to school hungry, wearing the same clothes for days straight.

I know Sharon likes to volunteer at NKC because she’s accomplishing something here and sees that this organization actually works and changes lives, especially for the children.”