Help­ing the com­mu­nity:

White takes ac­tive role in Hot Springs Vil­lage

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Giving Back -

Dur­ing six years as a prop­erty owner and, even­tu­ally, as a res­i­dent of Hot Springs Vil­lage, Rol­land White has made a con­sid­er­able im­pact on the com­mu­nity.

So great have been his con­tri­bu­tions as a vol­un­teer that out­go­ing Prop­erty Own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion Board Pres­i­dent Jerry Kosoglow pre­sented him with the Pres­i­dent’s Award dur­ing the POA’s an­nual meet­ing.

“It was a to­tal sur­prise. I had been gar­den­ing all day and got a phone call from my wife, Mary, who said that I needed to be at the an­nual meet­ing that af­ter­noon,” White said.

White is re­tired from the Hous­ton area, where he worked as pro­ject man­ager for an off­shore oil field com­pany.

His ex­pe­ri­ence in deal­ing with big op­er­a­tions have come in handy dur­ing his vol­un­teer ef­forts in the Vil­lage. He worked on the Strate­gic Plan­ning Com­mit­tee three years ago to help up­date the com­mu­nity’s long-term plan, which in­volves mil­lions of dollars in in­fra­struc­ture, ameni­ties, cap­i­tal im­prove­ments and pur­chases, as well as main­tain­ing the com­mu­nity’s cur­rent as­sets.

“Mary thought I would go crazy when I re­tired since I had a job that ba­si­cally ne­ces­si­tated I be on call 24/7, 365 days a year. How­ever, I think I have ad­justed well. I stay busy, but I can pick and choose what I do. I vol­un­teer for the com­mu­nity, but we still make time to do our gar­den­ing in the back yard. Mary is the man­ager, and I pro­vide the la­bor,” White said with a laugh.

“We also like to go danc­ing, so I have my sched­ule bal­anced out pretty well.”

White said the phys­i­cal work has been a wel­come change from the high-stress men­tal job he had in Hous­ton.

“Phys­i­cal work helps me sleep well at night, and the vol­un­teer things I do is just enough to keep me sharp men­tally with­out stress­ing me out.”

White is also serv­ing his sec­ond year as chair­man of the Pub­lic Works Com­mit­tee, one of the most ac­tive of the com­mu­nity’s var­i­ous com­mit­tees. The mem­bers are charged with rat­ing the Vil­lage’s nearly 500 miles of roads and its nu­mer­ous build­ings on sound­ness, iden­ti­fy­ing those that need work.

The com­mit­tee has be­come the eyes and ears of the Pub­lic Works Depart­ment, pro­vid­ing it with valu­able data. As chair­man, White co­or­di­nates all of th­ese ef­forts with the other mem­bers.

White’s cur­rent big pro­ject is serv­ing on the Friends of the Dog Park Com­mit­tee, which is in the process of con­vert­ing the for­mer RV and boat stor­age area into a dog park that will be a wel­come amenity to a com­mu­nity where many se­niors lead a bet­ter qual­ity of life be­cause they have dogs for com­pan­ions. White and his wife have three of their own.

“The dog park came into be­ing one evening while we were sit­ting on our deck play­ing with our dogs,” White said.

The group held a cleanup day May 22 and in­vited dog own­ers to come by to help, and to see how the park will look when com­pleted.

Fundrais­ing is still in progress, and White said the group ef­fort has been re­ward­ing.

“It has been a lot of work, but it is also a fun ef­fort. Fundrais­ing is not my forte, but we have put to­gether a good team with var­i­ous ar­eas of ex­per­tise to cover all the bases. It will be nice to see the park fin­ished and ded­i­cated,” he said.

With the gar­den­ing work in the back yard, White also gives back to na­ture with a va­ri­ety of bird feed­ers and houses on the premises as well as a lot of ferns and other plants that con­trib­ute to the en­vi­ron­ment.

“When I am off the Pub­lic Works Com­mit­tee and the dog park is done, I may throt­tle back a lit­tle bit and spend more time read­ing, but I will still stay in­volved with com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties. That is the se­cret to keep­ing it grow­ing,” he said.

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