Melanie Moore's commitment to community service was noticed this spring when she won the YWCA's Women of Distinction award for her volunteerism.
"I like the social aspect and I like to work helping other people," said Moore, who has been an active volunteer with the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary. "That's what the Eagles are, people helping people," she said.
Moore, who is the testing coordinator for all paper based exams in the Student Development Center at Minot State University, said she started becoming an active volunteer with the Eagles Club in February 1998 when she went to the Snowball, the annual fundraiser for the Second Story, a social club for adults with disabilities.
Moore read a newspaper article about the fundraiser and thought it sounded like a good cause. Then someone at the meeting told her about the Eagles Auxiliary and suggested she get involved in that.
Moore is currently one of the local Ladies Auxiliary officers and is also a state officer for the organization. She helps organize events such as the breakfast held once a month, and collects Marketplace Foods receipts for national charities, mainly those that benefit people who have Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. She still helps out with the Snowball every year as well.
The Eagles and Eagles Auxiliary no longer have their own club, but the local Knights of Columbus has been good about letting them meet there.
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Moore also involves herself in other volunteer activities. She works with the Minot Optimist Club and serves as the contact person for the MSU Hockey Moms. The group of women sends care packages to hockey players while they are playing away games, and Moore is the contact person for the moms and helps arrange for the care packages to get where they need to go.
Moore grew up in Minot and has worked at Minot State University since 1977. Since 1991, she's been slowly working towards her own bachelor's degree, which she finally obtained in May, when she graduated with a bachelor of science degree in management.
"I wanted to do something for myself," she said, and thought that this might give her more opportunities if another position opens up on campus that requires a bachelor's degree. The university permits its employees to take one class every semester free of charge, provided their supervisors agree. It's one of the best things that Minot State does for its employees, she said.
Moore was a part-time student and a full-time employee while raising her own son. He beat her to a college degree, graduating from MSU in 2004. Moore said she took a few breaks from taking college classes to help family members. When she received her degree, her friends from the college were there to cheer her on.
Moore said she plans to stay in her job at MSU. She helps coordinate services for students who need extra services, such as someone to take notes or extra time on an exam. Some people might think students in need of those services are all blind or deaf, Moore said, but there are a number of other disabilities that qualify a student for additional help, such as a learning disability.
In her free time, Moore loves going to MSU sporting events, attending concerts and plays and is an avid fan of Nodak Speedway racing. She doesn't understand people who say there's nothing to do in Minot.
"There's always something to do," she said. "I can't take it all in!"