Bassano is the ultimate booster

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By Hannah Hayes

Every community needs a cheerleader like Angela Bassano, the most enthusiastic supporter of Conifer and its many nonprofits. Having a fund-raiser? Need silent auction items? Want to move a road? She can make it all happen.

While some may call her “Mayor,” I choose “Cheerleader” because Angela is not only enthusiastic, she is vocal. Her infectious energy is spread not just by example but with all kinds of verbal exhortations to, as she says, “Get up off your butt and participate.”

She’s part of Rotary, the Mountain Resource Center, Conifer Area Council, the chamber of commerce, Mountain Peace Shelter, the Salvation Army and Our Lady of the Pines. Her priority right now is an urgent effort to save the site of the Yellow Barn at Highway 73 and Barkley Road and to preserve the historical site for our community rather than commercial development. “Keep that stuff on 285!” is Angela’s latest mantra.

To discover what motivates this fireball of energy, just listen to her views on volunteering: “I love visiting with everybody. I am a part of the whole world.”

That she is. Her efforts have brought aid to many as far away as Haiti and Chile as well as to those in local neighborhoods. Angela is a tireless worker for the good of so many lives.

“I do it so I can get smiles,” she says. “There are people who don’t look you in the eye, and I live to get them to look at me and smile.”

Angela must have received a ton of smiles recently as she sold and distributed 525 cases of peaches for Rotary, ably assisted by her husband, Tony Groszewski. Build a dog shelter? Tile a bathroom at the Peace Shelter? Help an elderly neighbor? He is always there to lend a hand. He’s the one who moved those 525 cases!

Angela runs her own business as a fourth-generation barber. She just entertained her niece, Anastasia Lloyd, who will follow in the family tradition and become a fifth-generation haircutter. Angela’s services also include herbal consults featuring a wide variety of natural remedies.

You might think you’re at an AA meeting when you hear her introduce herself: “Hello. My name is Angela, and I’m a community volunteer.”

But this woman is for real. Her friends fuel her energy — and we can each count ourselves among them.

Hannah B. Hayes is a former Both Sides Now debate columnist, small-business owner and peace activist. She has been a part of the Evergreen community for more than 35 years.