Each year, five women are chosen by the Punxsutawney Career Women’s Club for Career Women’s Week. The criteria used for choosing these women are based not only on their professional efforts, but also on the contributions they’ve made to community and family. The club was founded in 1930, originally known as Punxsutawney Business & Professional Women’s Club. On Sept. 8, 1998, the club name was changed and incorporated as a non-profit organization under the name of Punxsutawney Career Women’s Club, with objectives to promote growth and respect of women in the workplace; improve self-esteem in all careers; educate women; and support community projects. This article is Part V in a five-part series.
PUNXSUTAWNEY — Not having a career with a “regular paycheck” certainly doesn’t mean the work one is doing isn’t highly valued, which is exactly why the Punxsutawney Career Women’s Club chose to honor Renee Doverspike of Ringgold as one of the five women recognized during Career Women Week this year.
“I don’t work formally, but I spend much of my time volunteering with various organizations, most of which operate through the church I attend, Ss. Cosmas & Damian Roman Catholic Church (SS.C.D.),” said Doverspike, adding that she was glad she doesn’t have to work and can spend her time volunteering.
“Fortunately, I don’t have to work, and I have enough vehicles and outlets that I can accomplish what I want to do for society and my family,” Doverspike said, adding that the time she puts in volunteering is a full time job.
“For the last five years I’ve been a eucharistic minister and a regent for the Catholic Daughters of America (CDA),” Doverspike said.
Doverspike said CDA is a non-profit mission emphasizing unity and charity.
“We have the ‘Wrapped in Love’ coat campaign to supplement project Bundle Up at the Salvation Army,” Doverspike said, adding that she’s also involved in “White Ribbons Against Pornography,” fundraising for SS.C.D. Elementary School and the church food bank and the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
Doverspike said even the fish fries are cooked by the CDA.
“Some days, I’d like to be two people,” she said.
She is married to Rick Doverspike, vice president at First Commonwealth Bank in Indiana.
“Rick was my high school sweetheart, and he enjoys his work in the banking business and never wanted to be involved in the Doverspike family business, J.R. Resources,” she said.
“We lived in Pittsburgh in the North Hills for about 10 years and decided to move back, since our two boys were younger then. Alex is now 24, and James is 19,” Doverspike said.
She also noted that when they lived in the Pittsburgh area, they would travel home to visit every weekend, so they decided to move back to raise their children in Punxsy.
Doverspike said her family was forced to pull together through a very difficult time when her oldest son, Alex, was diagnosed with kidney cancer when he was four months old and had one of his kidneys removed.
She said Alex suffered from Renal Tubular Acidosis (RTA), which is a medical condition that involves an accumulation of acid in the body due to a failure of the kidneys to appropriately acidify the urine, she said.
Bringing her boys home to grow up in the Punxsy area was a return to her roots, as she grew up in Frostburg, and her maiden name was Renee Perry.
“My grandfather owned Perry Drilling, and I literally grew up in the shop there,” Doverspike said, adding that she spent many a night with her dad, Rich Perry II, working up in the shop repairing drill bits.
“Then came the one day when the shop caught fire and was completely destroyed,” she said. “It was hard to watch it burn because it was constructed when I was eight or nine years old.
“It was a shame. At that stage of his life, my grandfather, Rich Perry, had to watch that happen,” she said.
Doverspike said he sat in the office, which was down below the shop, and watched it burn.
“The fire began in the furnace that was located in a smaller building at the rear of the shop,” she said.
Doverspike said that her grandfather’s generation is a different breed, as it was often the case that their identities came from the businesses they owned.
“His whole life was the drilling business, which he sold several years ago,” Doverspike said, adding that her grandfather passed away Oct. 21, 2011.
Besides the human members of her family, she has three Shih Tzu dogs that mean quite a bit to her: Serge, Marshall and Meisha, and
four swans, who are all part of her support system, she said.
Doverspike said it was quite an honor to be selected as one of the five women chosen yearly for their traits that make them positive role models in the community.
“I’m humbled being chosen by the Career Women’s Club,” Doverspike said. “I like to work quietly, under the radar and behind the scenes, and help with a cause or someone who needs it and quietly leave.
“I like being one of the people who get their hands dirty and not be in the forefront,” she said.
“I don’t keep tabs on what I do,” Doverspike said. “I like to volunteer and the way it makes me feel when I help someone or an organization that requires assistance.”
Doverspike said none of what she volunteers to help with is done for the glory.
“I just want to help anyone I can,” Doverspike said.
She said that, to make the world a better place, she thinks more people from her generation should step up and get involved and simply do what needs to be done.