On December 14, 2016, Anthem Parkside Community Association (APCA) Vice President Bettye Ruff was awarded the 2016 Maricopa County Sheriff's North Valley Posse "Jerry Kowalski" Community Service Award. This annual honor is awarded to the North Valley Posse Member who provides outstanding service and outreach to the community. A beloved member and familiar figure of the Anthem community himself, Jerry Kowalski dedicated his entire Posse career to the community and its residents by taking an active role in organizations, including the North Valley Maricopa County Sheriff's Posse, Anthem Safety and Services committee and the Anthem Neighborhood Watch.
Like Jerry, Bettye is a true believer in the value of volunteer service and of reaching out to those in need. She began seeking out worthwhile causes through which to serve soon after arriving in Anthem. “My philosophy has always been to give back to the community in which you live,” said Bettye. “I moved to Anthem in October of 2004 not knowing anyone, so the first thing I did was find a church and begin serving.” Through her church Bettye joined Hope 4 Kids International, sponsoring a child in Uganda and later meeting that child during a mission trip with Hope 4 Kids.
In 2006, while volunteering for the newly formed Anthem Neighborhood Watch, Bettye learned about the North Valley Posse and became a member. Over the next few years, she began to devote her time to volunteering for other local organizations, including Anthem Cares Through Service (ACTS), Live Local – Shop Local, and Anthem Pets (for which she is a ‘foster home’ for rescued animals). And, each November, parade goers can catch a glimpse of Bettye driving down Gavilan Peak Parkway and Anthem Way in patriotic fashion. “It has been my honor to drive a Veteran in the Daisy Mountain Veteran's Parade every year,” she said.
Today, Bettye continues to volunteer with these organizations and has taken her mission to the leadership level. She is a Maricopa County Republican Precinct Committeeman who educates the voters in her precinct area on important party issues. And, since 2011, she has served as Vice President of the APCA, a position that seems to have brought her full circle since moving to Anthem 12 years ago. “I wanted to help maintain the integrity and compassion of this great community,” she said. And maintain it she does.