Naomi Albrecht Helps Make Dream Come True for CCHS

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Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 15 Dec 16 - 0 Comments
Janice Holladay, President of the Calhoun County Humane Society Board, receives a generous check from Naomi Albrecht, meeting and going over-the-top for the funds needed for their new facility.

Janice Holladay, President of the Calhoun County Humane Society Board, receives a generous check from Naomi Albrecht, meeting and going over-the-top for the funds needed for their new facility.

For most of their lives Naomi and Clarence Albrecht lived in Port O’Connor in the house that Clarence built for them the year he returned from the Korean Conflict – and for most of that time Naomi, first as a teacher and then as principal of the Port O’Connor School, saved and planned for her dream house, but somehow they never found the right time and place to build it.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Naomi – now a widow in assisted living – turned $100,000 of her savings over to the Calhoun County Humane Society to ensure that the animals of this county will soon get their dream house, a new shelter where they can wait for forever homes.

Humane Society Secretary Juaniece Madden noted that the donation puts the funds available for construction of the new shelter well past the $566,000 needed to move forward to build the shelter as soon as bids are in and provides a “cushion” for any unexpected expenses.

The new shelter will be located at 106 Haley Lane in Port Lavaca.

The Humane Society hosted a luncheon at the Heritage Center Nov. 22 for Naomi, her daughter Janice Albrecht Stalder, and a group of friends and shelter supporters.
Naomi grew up on a farm in Coryell County and was a dog lover from her early years, and she and Clarence taught Janice the importance of caring for the animals. Asked to introduce her mother, Janice stressed that as she herself nears retirement this year, she is reminded of what role models her parents were and her mother still is.

“I was an only child,” she observed, “ but not really. I grew up with four-legged siblings of all varieties, from dogs and cats to raccoons. I learned how much we get from the unconditional love of these little creatures and what we owe back to them.”

As she introduced her mother, Janice noted how much she realized her parents had been her role models when she was a child and will continue to provide her with models of an active retirement that supports a community.

“My mother was most active in PTA after she first retired, a natural interest for a teacher and principal, and one that involved her not only locally but also on the regional and state level, but she also ended up on the Calhoun County Independent School District Board of Trustees, eventually serving as president.”

In addition to her interest in the schools, Naomi developed into a painter during retirement and continued a life-long interest, shared with Clarence, in gardening. She was active in the Art Guild and in Garden Club, but she was especially proud of being one of the small group which initially began the local humane society.
“I remember Gloria Saylor and Janice Holladay were in that first group,” Naomi said, noting that they went to the City to get permission to start in a building that they still share with the City but that the new shelter will give them a chance to do more for more animals.

Living in Port O’Connor and working in numerous other organizations, Naomi says now that she was not as active as she wanted to be in the Humane Society for many years but that it was always close to her heart. One year the State gave retired teachers a ”13th check” because investments had done well for the Teacher Retirement System, and Naomi “decided that I had lived without that money for the last year and I was sure that the animals needed that money more than I did.”

This year, as the society worked to raise money for the new shelter, Naomi decided it was time to make another donation. “I saved money because I grew up at a time when that was a necessary experience to learn and I really dreamed that I was going to build me a beautiful new house, but Clarence and I never got around to it.”

“Now that dream house of mine can become a dream house for the animals,” she concluded as she presented a $100,000 check to Humane Society President Janice Holladay.

Naomi added that the building fund was her priority, but that ‘sometimes there are things that come up that have to be taken care of in order to move on, so I didn’t tie my donation to just the building fund.”

Juaniece, who has known Naomi since the two women double-dated the men who would become their husbands, observed that “Naomi will never know how much this means to us” and encouraged others in the community to step up and give.

As for Naomi’s daughter Janice, she said that her parents showed her that active contributions to a community do not end with retirement but rather than retirement means finding new opportunities to serve. “I am not sure that I can ever do as much as they have done,” she added, “but my mother’s actions now challenge me to try.”

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