16
Fri, Nov

Lake Hopatcong Foundation Volunteer Spotlight: Beth Baross

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On the Lake Hopatcong volunteer circuit, you’re never quite sure where Beth BaRoss is going to show up. In the two years since she moved to Mount Arlington, she’s rolled up her sleeves for just about every event and initiative possible.

Beth was a Co-Planner, with Lee Moreau, for this year’s Block Party and has already signed on for the same role next year. She has also served on the Gala organizing committee, been an all-purpose volunteer at Lake Loop two times, and led fourth-grade groups during a spring field trip at Hopatcong State Park.

But wait. There’s more. Beth has also spent time at the LHF office, preparing mass mailings, and is on board for the lake cleanup in November leaving us to wonder if there’s anything she won’t do! Windows, perhaps?

 

Beth is a native of Smithtown, N.Y., on Long Island, and will be attending Smithtown High School East 40th class reunion. Don’t bother doing the math. She’s fine with letting you know she’s 58 and that she’s been married to husband Dave for 33 years. They have two adult children. Rochelle, 29, is engaged to Kevin Semagin, and Kelsey, 26, is married to Malcolm Herbert.

Besides volunteering for the LHF, Beth is employed three days a week as an administrative assistant for Community High School in Teaneck, a non-profit school for children with mild to moderate learning disabilities.

Beth’s versatility as a volunteer may be reflected in her job history. As a teen, she did some babysitting and worked as a dental assistant. Her résumé, since then, also includes office work at a karate studio, foreclosure work for a private investigator, and food service at a sub shop.

“I kept slicing my finger at the sub place,” Beth recalled, “and once had one of my Band-Aids come off in someone’s sandwich. I quit soon after that.”

Perhaps her most exciting job was as an event planner for a Time/Fortune 500 event that once flew her to Hawaii for work and to L.A. to work on a Warner Brothers set.

When considering a move in 2016, Beth and her husband searched for lake locales online. While researching Lake Hopatcong, they came across the LHF website and were favorably impressed.

“I really liked how professional it looked… and that there were no typos,” Beth said. “I also loved what the LHF did and I vowed that as soon as we found a house and moved in, Dave and I would get involved. It turned out to be a great way to meet people in our new community, too.”

After offering her volunteer services to the LHF, it was only a matter of days before she was recruited by Volunteer Coordinator Judy Caruso, a volunteer herself, to help out at Block Party 2017.

“Beth came to LHF as a volunteer with eyes wide open, and it’s fair to say her initial Block Party experience opened her eyes even wider,” Lee said. “You can lean on her and the Block Party planning team leaned on her hard.

“For a fleeting moment she might have had the appearance of a deer in headlights, but she quickly mastered the process and has always been a delight to work alongside. Beth works well in a team environment, is smart, funny, hardworking, caring, committed to the greater good.”

You won’t get any argument from Beth about the Block Party being a challenge.

“The Block Party is a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun and I worked with some great people,” she said. “I loved the field trips, too, maybe because people have said I ‘missed my calling’ by not becoming a teacher, because I seem to relate so well with children.

“Everyone is so nice and I love working in all of the roles. The best part about volunteering for the LHF is seeing the energy and spirit of the staff and volunteers.”

Clearly, considering her volunteer résumé, Beth has also brought a boatload of her own energy and spirit to Lake Hopatcong, as well.

“It’s noteworthy that as Beth and Dave searched for a new home in northern New Jersey, their emphasis was on finding a strong sense of community,” Lee said. “How lucky are we that they chose Lake Hopatcong.”

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