2019 Best of Blythe Readers' Choice Awards: Most Influential – Gale Nelson

“It’s just fantastic. Sometimes you do feel like people maybe don’t notice what you do; it’s really nice knowing that – yes, they do,” noted Gale Nelson to the Times. “I had no clue.” (Photo by Uriel Avendano/Palo Verde Valley Times)

In an effort to spotlight businesses around town, the Times’ 2019 Best of Blythe Readers’ Choice Awards ceremony was held April 18 at the State Farm Insurance offices.

This year, the inaugural special category of “Most Influential” received several nominations of community patrons who have been highlighted in the previous weeks’ issues as an ongoing series.

This week, we spotlight local community patron, retired phlebotomist (who also worked with local law enforcement), and youth agriculture advocate Gale Nelson.

“It’s just fantastic. Sometimes you do feel like people maybe don’t notice what you do; it’s really nice knowing that — yes, they do,” noted Nelson to the Times. “I had no clue.”

One submitted comment from a local voter in the community for Nelson stated:

“Gale Nelson. Not only has she been a leader for the Desert Compadres 4-H Club for over 19 years, but she’s kept the 4-H horse program alive for many years and was able to put on a tremendous CRF (Colorado River Fair) Horse Show this year. She holds down two jobs — owns her own Hair Salon Shannon’s and does the phlebotomy draws for law enforcement agencies. All the while quietly helps out many who find themselves in need — and not just her 4-H kids. I have seen her bring home strangers she’s met in the hospital who were injured in accidents because they had nowhere else to go until they healed. When they travel back through our little town, they always stop by with flowers to thank her for all she did for them. She doesn’t do things for the limelight. Her heart is truly made of gold and genuinely cares for people and their well-being. She is a lifelong resident of Blythe. Her parents were business owners in town — Johnson Heating & Cooling. Her brother still carries on with Glen Johnson Cooling & Heating. I have heard Gale state many-a-time how much she loves living in Blythe and has no plans of moving anywhere else when she retires. She truly loves this community.”

Nelson was a 4-H member in Blythe herself — back when there was only one club in town. Her daughter would follow suit, and today Nelson helps provide and support the kids by opening her home’s renowned Itty Bitty Ranch in north Blythe for the animal livestock youth program every year — as well as special fun family events for the group.

“Gale’s one of the biggest hearted, generous people that I’ve ever met. If she sees someone in need, she just up and helps them — she doesn’t care who it is. Even strangers on the streets; I’ve seen her do that for several people,” noted Terri Laghezza. “She opens up her home and place for the kids in 4-H, lets them house their animals there. She’s just great.”

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