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Jefferson Award Winner: Jim Murray

Eau Claire (WQOW) – This month’s Jefferson Award winner enjoys spending time outdoors. Jim Murray from Eau Claire worked behind a desk as an accountant, but spent his off-hours working to keep mother nature pristine.

If you have met Jim Murray, you know he loves nature which is why he is working hard to keep it preserved.

“I guess I’ve always been focused on nature, hunting and fishing,” Murray said. “I think it’s important to put our natural resources away so future generations can get out into nature.”

Murray did not seek out volunteer opportunities. Instead, they found him, while he was out on a hike. A board member was going through the member registry trying to find a new treasurer.

“They saw that I was a CPA,” Murray said. “So, he contacted me and asked if I would be a treasurer for the Friends, which I did.”

With that, the seeds of volunteerism were sown.

“Yea, it grew from there,” Murray said. “It’s rewarding to see this type of thing.”

Decades later, Jim Murray is a man of many hats, all representing his many volunteer efforts, including youth baseball, Lions Club, meals on wheels, Beaver Creek Reserve and Pheasants Forever.

“I mean, I do this stuff because I like to do it,” he said.

Recently, he found even more time to devote to his many efforts after retiring three years ago.

“It makes me appreciate that I’m able to do that,” Murray said. “With my job, it’s afforded us to retire fairly early and opened up time for us to do this.”

Murray said something that he did not seek out has now become an integral part of his life.

“I think it enriches my life just seeing the joy of other people enjoying Beaver Creek and some of the other activities that I’m in, so it just makes my life more whole,” Murray said.

He said right now the biggest problem for his service organizations right now is finding young people to volunteer.

He said even if you think you’re too busy to volunteer, it is possible to find an hour or two during a week to help out.

If you know a volunteer in our area making a difference, click here to nominate them.


Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley joined the News 18 team in August 2006. He is currently the Executive Producer.

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