For a woman who grew up on a “sheep station” in the small town of Yass, Australia, rural life in the Berkshires comes naturally. And luckily for VIM, volunteering for good causes also comes naturally to Tricia Bevan. Tricia writes for our newsletter, makes personal phone calls to donors and takes much-needed photos for our website.
“My time is very flexible, so I’m really pleased to know that I can be of some help,” said Tricia. “The staff always makes me feel that I am making a real contribution, so that makes it a fun place to volunteer!”
Tricia and her husband moved to the Berkshires in 2003 to retire and to spend more time with children and grandchildren who are living in the Hudson Valley. They settled in Alford and enjoy the culture, easy access to both Boston and New York and country atmosphere.
“I have plenty of space for gardening and enthusiastic fellow gardeners,” said Tricia. “It’s a nice place for our friends to come and visit.”
Tricia grew up outside of Canberra and trained in Australia in early childhood education. She married a physicist in 1963 and they soon moved to Canada and later to Ohio.
“I started my early childhood career in this country working as an Adjunct Instructor in the lab school at the University of Cincinnati,” said Tricia.
Tricia later opened a Montessori Childcare Center in a working class, largely minority neighborhood of the city, starting with just nine children. The program prospered and grew to 150 students. She also created a spin-off early enrichment program for infants at home. This Infant Satellite program is still operating in Cincinnati.
In 1985, Tricia’s husband was transferred to upstate New York. Tricia worked for a small county hospital for eight years as Director of Public Relations and Patient Advocacy and also did fundraising for the Glimmerglass Opera Company.
Tricia’s next non-profit effort came when she and her husband returned to Cincinnati. A University of Cincinnati-owned observatory, the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, had closed. Tricia spearheaded an effort to get this historic building designated a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior and helped raise millions of dollars to have it refurbished and connected to local schools. Within four years, there were 20,000 people a year visiting The Cincinnati Observatory Center and educational programs there today are offered to the public, to schools and to university students.
“In the meantime, my three children had grown up and had gone to college in New York City,” said Tricia. “Two of them settled there and one moved up the Hudson. That’s where I often go these days to provide supervision for my teenaged grandchildren.”
Now, VIM benefits from the rich professional and volunteer background that Tricia offers.
“I love what VIM is able to offer the community. I had a family member who was without health care for a while and I know the burden it placed on them. I was delighted to hear about the wide variety of services that VIM makes available and admire the friendly atmosphere, the professional standards and holistic approach offered to VIM patients.”