Spotlight COlorado  

Have You Met?

I didn’t know Dr. Arkin when I began this interview. By the time I finished I felt like I had known her for years. That’s the charm of Dr. Sandra Arkin. Her voice sparkles with life as she describes her life, her profession, her years of volunteering and her family. This is a woman who knows who she is and is entirely happy with her life as it is today, doing what she loves best…volunteering.

One of Sandra’s favorite memories, during her youth in Tacoma, was her mother’s role on radio as the PTA Safety Story Lady. As Sandra tells it, “Whenever there was a children’s part, I was called on to play the character”. She continued that love for center stage with a degree in theatre and performed in plays at the old Bonfils Theatre and at a former theatre located in the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. She speaks fondly of her roles as an extra when Viacom was filming in Denver. “ I played a nurse in an NBC Special of the Week, A Cry for Help starring Pam Dawber and Veronica Hamell. The camera captured me walking down a long hallway all by myself. It’s not often an extra is shown in a scene alone”. Sandra laughs as she says, “ Someday in the future, I’d love to play elderly lady parts in the movies and do voice-overs for commercials”.

Dr. Arkin retired to raise her children. When she resumed her career, she taught upper class elementary education majors how to teach math and science in their classrooms. She also taught an enrichment class for gifted children at the University of Denver (now the Ricks Center for Gifted Children).

On Volunteering :
Volunteering is not just a word for Dr. Sandra Arkin, it’s a way of life. Her volunteer efforts could fill the pages of a book. “ I’ve had two people who were my mentors in the volunteer world, Billie Stein and Florence Ruston. These two women are well known in Denver for their work with non-profits. I’ve learned so much from them”.

As a volunteer, Dr. Arkin has served as President of QuaLifeline, Friends of the Arthritis Foundation, The Rocky Mountain MS Center Guild and in June of 2003 she will become President of The Colorado Uplift Guild. She serves as Treasurer of AWARE and the Food Bank of the Rockies Guild, is Board of Director Vice President for Rainbow Bridge and Corresponding Secretary for ABC, Angels Befriending Children (Hospice of Metro Denver) She is on the Board of Directors for Hearts for Life Guild (American Heart Association), Cancer League of Colorado, Children’s Diabetes Foundation Guild and Rainbow House (Volunteers of America). Dr. Arkin has also chaired a number of galas and events for these organizations. In her words, “ I’m always a working member of any board I serve on. One of the things I’m known for in the volunteer world is my ability to handle a registration table. The organizations can count on me to greet people with a smile. They know they don’t have to worry about registrations when I’m there.”

Dr. Arkin lives in Greenwood Village and takes an avid interest in the community. She is currently a Commissioner for the City of Greenwood Village Planning and Zoning Commission since 2000 and from 1985 through 1995 she served on the Board of Adjustment and Appeals.

What’s important in your life? Having the opportunity to meet dedicated, caring people in the Volunteer world. I’m very grateful for these opportunities because Denver is unique in having such a multitude of organizations that welcome those of us who want to participate in their fundraising efforts. Outside of my volunteering life, it’s my children and grandchildren who are most important to me.

What’s in your future? I plan to continue what I’m doing…volunteering. I don’t care to travel, I like my children to come home where we can all be together. I’m doing what I want to do and hope to continue

Which social event is your favorite? I have been privileged to attend so many beautiful fundraising events that it is impossible to choose just one. This past week I enjoyed the Rainbow Bridge “ Bridges of Love” dinner starring Pat Boone and his band. Social events yet to come promise to be wonderful too, so how do you pick a favorite?

Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? I loved meeting June Allyson a few years ago when she and her husband came in from California for a Rainbow Bridge dinner. She was wonderful! She has a very warm personality and is charming and gracious at all times.

If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? Doris Day. I have always been impressed by her talents and by her loyalty to friends as well as animals.

Do you have any pets? Not right now, but I had a German Shepherd named Teddy, Coco, who was a Golden Retriever, a Siamese cat named Mau who lived to be 20 years old and an orange Tabby called Peaches.

What word describes you best? Caring

How would you like others to describe you? As a true friend

What was your first job? Babysitting. In college I worked for a bank near the university where I filed canceled checks alphabetically.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Dishonesty

What is your greatest indulgence? Chocolate

What is the best gift you’ve ever been given? My granddaughter and grandson are very special gifts in my life.

What is your current state of mind? Peaceful and content

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I think it’s hopefully yet to come.

What is your most treasured possession? I consider my home my natural habitat. It was love at first sight and I’ve lived here for 32 years.

Favorite Books/Writers? I love to read biographies and autobiographies because I find people’s lives fascinating.

Do you have a motto? You are what you give.