2021 – Midge Renton

Louis F. Schultz Distinguished Service Award

Midge Renton’s favorite title is simply “Active Community Volunteer.”  She feels her “real life” began when she crossed the California/ Oregon border on February 1, 1966 and became a citizen of Grants Pass. New in town and asked to sell memberships in Community Concerts, she piled her three sons in the car and promptly sold a record number of memberships. Soon she was president of the board.

Midge’s middle name is “Education.” She was a substitute, a volunteer, then a teacher and principal in the Three Rivers School District for 26 years. With each move up she loved to observe children learning to be responsible citizens. Even in retirement she managed to get a “kid fix” by volunteering at North Valley High School for 25 years as a mentor to college bound students. And despite hoping that Family Solutions would “go out of business” for a lack of abused children, Midge has served on its board for 30 years.

Midge’s proudest contribution has been meeting our need for a community college. Along with the dynamic Marjorie Holzgang, Midge helped found Rogue Community College, served on its board for twenty-eight years, and was chair of the Oregon Community College Association. For these contributions to community college education, she was honored with the prestigious Howard Cherry Award.

After 28 Years,  “about 700 board meetings,” and the merger of the Josephine and Jackson branches, Midge left the board and joined the Rogue Community College Foundation for eleven years.  In fifty years of dedicated service Midge watched the growth of RCC from early classes training farriers all the way to the construction of the lovely new Health Professional Center.

Midge was one of the first three women invited to join the 150 men of the Grants Pass Rotary Club, where she has served as President and has chaired many committees. But her heart is most in the Scholarship Committee and the Rotary Youth leadership Award camp, where kids referred to her as the “Queen Mother.”  Her work in scholarships includes long-term membership in the American Association of University Women and over thirty years of affiliation with P.E.O., providing young women with opportunities, and the founding of their Frog O’Faire Festival, which delighted local children for forty five years.

Volunteer service has always been an important priority, and Midge is proud to say that when people come to her now for help making our local world better, she remains an Active Community Volunteer.