VELVA – DJ Randolph, a computer engineer at Verendrye Electric Cooperative, says his years of volunteering in the community have benefited him and the people he has helped.
“There is a sense of reward with this and there is a need in our community for more volunteers,” he said, as well as for those who have the time and resources to step in and help those who need a little help.
Randolph received the community service award at the 79th meeting of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) in Bismarck on January 19.
Randolph, an avid sportsman, helped bring an education center, shooting range and archery range to the Velva Wildlife Club, according to information provided by NDAREC.
He also volunteers with Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports, a non-profit organization that provides sports and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities.
“When you get to introduce a new person to these outdoor activities and see those magical moments through their eyes…it’s like seeing them again for the first time,” Randolph said.
Randolph said there was a lot of preparation beforehand when taking someone with a disability hunting for the first time. People with Prairie Grit identify areas that are accessible by vehicle when installing a handicap-accessible hunting blind.
All the work is worth it, however, when people have the chance to immerse themselves in nature.
Randolph said he was a little embarrassed to be recognized with the award, but others said he really deserved the recognition.
“DJ has spent countless hours teaching and making hunting experiences accessible to all types of hunters over the past few years. He guides practice on the range, makes accessible shades and spends hours in all weathers waiting for the right shot,” said Krystal Butgereit, executive director of Prairie Grits Adaptive Sports, in information provided by NDAREC. “DJ doesn’t just show up. He comes to the table with ideas for moving the adaptive hunting program forward and does so with infectious enthusiasm. DJ’s enthusiasm, positive attitude, passion and expertise have provided our athletes with top notch hunting experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
Each year, NDAREC recognizes individuals for their generous contributions to North Dakota Electric Co-operatives and the communities they serve. A committee of eight members of the Board of Directors selects the recipients from nominations submitted by members.