Martha D. Urquides-Staab
The Community Foundation of Chaves County has been helping many non-profit organizations in the community for many years. The purpose of the organization is to promote the well-being of the community and help with the cityâ€™s growth. The Community Foundation helps donors choose organizations in the community that need the most help. They build endowments and manage and respond to the greater needs of specific organizations. Its board of directors and current president, Alexis Swoboda, manages the foundation. The foundation doesnâ€™t exist without its many philanthropists who help it thrive. Within the organizations the foundation helps, they see a wide variety of citizens who lend a hand and hearts to the organizations and silently take note on who goes above and beyond their duty to lending a hand.
The Community Foundation of Chaves County is holding its second annual Community Foundation Honors event June 16 at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. The purpose of the event is to recognize a person for contributions and on-going commitment to the community. Justus E. Bowe Jr. has been selected as the 2011 Honoree for his contributions and passion in helping the residents of Chaves County.
â€œThe selection process is done by our board of directors, and they select someone who stands out above everyone else, someone who cares for the community and is worthy,â€ said Susie Russell, executive director of CFCC.
The news of the nomination surprised Bowe, â€œI was shocked and ecstatic! To be nominated is awesome, to see what people see in you, and this organization would pick me to represent them is truly awesome,â€ said Bowe.
There is a rich history to the CFCC honoree. His life and background have much to do with why this man is involved and the helper he is today.
Bowe was born in Cotton Plant, Ark., and was one of 12 children. He grew up in Arkansas and helped his family financially by working multiple jobs as a young child. He left his home after high school and served in the United States Army for three years. He attended college after his first enlistment in the Army and decided to reenlist in the Air Force. He was stationed in various locations during his military career including Vanderburg Air Force Base, Bitburg, Germany; Minot, N.D.; Poonsong, Korea; and Phoenix, Ariz. While in the Air Force he earned the Air Force Commendation Medal.
While Bowe was in the military he met and married his wife of 52 years, Christine. They have three children: Rodney, Michelle and Nadeem, and three grandchildren: Olivia, Solomon, and Justus. When his children were younger Bowe quickly instilled character and values into each of his children and developed the family motto â€œA Bowe is suppose to know.â€
After retiring from the Air Force and moving his family to Roswell, he started on his second set of careers. He was employed by the state, the New Mexico Rehabilitation Center, and the New Mexico Department of Labor. When he wasnâ€™t working he was volunteering with the cityâ€™s non-profit organizations. He served as a board member to the Roswell Girls Club, the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Roswell High School Parent Advisory Committee, Tabosa Development Service, South Park Cemetery and the Community Foundation of Chaves County. Bowe also participated in the curriculum of the Leadership Roswell Program. He is currently a board member of the Washington Chapel Christian Worship Center, the First Tee of Pecos Valley, Blackdom Memorial Inc., and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative breakfast ceremony where he received the 2009 Humanitarian Award.
â€œI got involved with the community because of my kids. The first organization I got involved with was the Girls Club and from there I went to different organizations. It is amazing what type of impact youâ€™re making in someoneâ€™s life,â€ said Bowe.
When Bowe isnâ€™t busy helping everyone else, he finds time to enjoy fishing and traveling the country to visit his family.
â€œRoswell is beautiful, and winning this is like winning an Oscar, and this will live on after Iâ€™m gone. â€
The Community Foundation of Chaves County would like to express its gratitude to its sponsors for making this event possible: 400 Penn Plaza, Harvard Petroleum Co. LLC, Andrews, Smith, Lowery and Co. LLC, Pioneer Bank, Primm Drug, Armstrong Energy Corp., Bill and Karen Armstrong, Ritter and Co., David Petroleum Corp., Roswell Lifestock and Farm Supply, Eileen Grooms EMG Oil Properties, Xcel Energy, and Ameripride. Monies raised from this event will help build the endowment and operations of the Community Foundation of Chaves County, enabling the foundation to continue supporting community developments, health and human services, art and humanities and other projects that improve the quality of life in Chaves County. The Community Foundation Honors event will be held June 16 at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. Cost to attend the event is $25 per person. For more information call Susie Russell at 622-8900.