After an impressive total of 33 years developing and organizing Active Re-Entry, as well as 31 years serving as the director, Nancy Bentley will soon be entering her well-earned retirement years.
Active Re-Entry was created in 1988 and Bentley has been an integral part of the organization since. Bentley also holds many other titles as notches on her belt, including creating the PERKIE Travels system, started in 1994, which assists those that must travel for hospital visits, and the PAWS Program, created around 1995, which sees service animals visiting schools, libraries, nursing homes and more to spread cheer.
Bentley is rarely seen without her PAWS dogs and beloved pets, Baxter and Logan, in tow.
She has also been known to be a total advocate of Eastern Utah and the Castle Country community, ready to get her hands dirty for any cause for which she was needed. Bentley began her career in Carbon County as the Water Quality Manager, shifting to the Human Services Coordinator for the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments (SEUALG).
From there, she has been a part of the Music and Memory program and the Angel Tree program. She assisted in the birth of the local food banks and was credited as being one of the original members of the Utah Council of Volunteers. She has never been known to back down from a challenge and has worked on countless grants for the betterment of the entire community.
Bentley has worked tirelessly over the years to ensure that the area constantly grew, thrived and came together for the better. With these many credits, including many more unlisted, Bentley is also a sister, wife, friend and family member. She leaves behind a legacy of hard work and organizations that may not have come to the area without Bentley’s perseverance and passion.
“My career has been driven by two philosophies. One, being the ‘Starfish Story'” Bentley stated, insisting that those that haven’t heard of it must. “and the second being Margaret Mead’s statement ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.'”
Bentley credits the Mead quote as being one that is featured in every annual PAWS calendar that the organization has created. When asked what she has enjoyed most about her work over the years, Bentley stayed true to her character and cited the community.
“The community organization; it’s been a lot of fun to be involved in so many successful programs,” Bentley concluded.
A retirement and welcome open house is being hosted at Active Re-Entry to honor Bentley and introduce the new Director, Terri Yelonek, on June 21 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Light lunch and refreshments will be served. Active Re-Entry is located at 10 South Fairgrounds Road in Price.