Working to enrich the county

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By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

She strides up the sidewalk, a woman on a mission.

Climbing the restaurant steps and sweeping inside, the red highlights in her bouncy, brunette hair shine, her brown eyes sparkle behind tinted glasses and her yellow dress looks like a sunburst.

Susan Rich has been on many a mission in her 54 years.

She's the former president of Calaveras Women's Network and current investment representative at the EdwardJones office in Murphys. She has designed programs to unite the elderly and youth of Oakland, worked on the 1988 Dole for President campaign and managed $40 million in program grants for the U.S. Administration on Aging.

She has also been an IRS auditor, a senior housing consultant and a bank lending officer.

And through these endeavors, she has also been the wife of Ed Rich, former County Planning Commissioner and owner of Calaveras Olive Oil, and the mother of two sons, Jeremy, 26, and Chris, 21.

These days this high-energy woman is on a mission for the Calaveras Community Foundation, the only such organization in the county. Rich leads the foundation's fund development committee and serves on its finance committee.

Sitting at a table with a cup of coffee, she talks of about the foundation and her dreams for it.

"I'm focusing on the foundation because it is so vital to this community as we experience rapid growth," she said. "The county is poor in certain areas. In some cases it's financial poverty in some cases, social poverty.

"What the foundation is doing is giving grants and working to develop community capacity for certain kinds of services."

A migraine headache sufferer, Rich knows how important prescription medication is. So she is raising funds to develop a program through the foundation that could help the uninsured and under-insured buy prescriptions.

Founded in 2000, the Calaveras Community Foundation administers a wide range of funds.

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