Eight years ago, Colville Chapter Chair Ray Markee asked his daughter Dawn Tallman (second from the right in photo) and her family to assist with banquet prep by putting together meat and cheese trays. In exchange, he’d buy their dinner tickets. It was the start of a brand new volunteer career.
After more than 25 years of volunteer service in the Washington chapter, it was time for Markee to pass on some of his leadership duties.
“I originally got involved with the Elk Foundation for my dad,” Tallman says. “It was something that he was very proud of and committed to, and I wanted to be a part of that. He is my hero. Of course any girl would want to make her dad proud!” Tallman had previously served as ticket chair and finance chair, but she says she was surprised when Eastern Washington State Chair Paul Estep encouraged her to follow in her dad’s footsteps. “He came to me and told me he thought I could do the position!” she says. “I was totally taken aback, but our committee was very supportive.”
“This is a great situation where Ray slowly is passing on leadership but is staying very involved. Dawn’s husband Rick is right there with her, and we get two for one. In addition, Dawn and Rick’s kids are involved,” said Bill Kenney, RMEF regional director. “There’s no better people, no better family,” Kenney says. “No better father-daughter.”