Veteran, Former First Responder Continues Service to Others at Donna Resort
by Rocio Villalobos
When Ron Blane retired after 52 years as a first responder--holding positions as a Vietnam corpsman and a paramedic in law enforcement and more--his public service didn’t end there. Back in Michigan, his home state, he volunteers his summers operating the emergency rescue boat on Lake Michigan, and he serves as winter host for Donna’s Bit-O-Heaven RV & Mobile Home.
“I'm a people person,” he said. “People come in from all over the country, and I enjoy getting to know them.”
As winter host, Blane helps fellow Winter Texans get settled in the park, both by helping them out with any issues with their unit and by introducing them to others and informing them about all of the activities in the park.
Blane is always excited to receive new visitors because he knows it won’t take long for them to feel right at home.
“All the people around are friendly,” he said. “You drive in, and you can hardly even park before they start coming up and welcoming you home. It means a lot.”
While Blane has friends who are now like family within the park and from other local resorts, he also gets to enjoy the company of his own family. His mother and sister-in-law are among his neighbors.
“It’s hard to get away from the Valley once you're here,” Blane said. “The people and everything are so great.”
He adds the support and thanks he receives from park management motivate him to go above and beyond in his job, taking on more responsibilities and helping wherever needed.
“You enjoy working harder for somebody if they appreciate what you do,” he said. “I enjoy being able to go around picking up stuff and keeping it looking good because it means a lot to me. I love my park, and I don’t want it to look sloppy.”
In his 16 years at Bit-O-Heaven, Blane previously served as camp cook. Though now in a different role, he steps up every Thanksgiving and Christmas, cooking dozens of turkeys for the park.
And when the February freeze of 2021 devastated the Valley, including its RV parks, Blane stayed behind an extra month to help the park get back on its feet.
“I thoroughly enjoy being able to help people,” he said. “I'll always go out of my way to help somebody, and it has come back around so many more times.”