Sharing Light

August 27, 2021

Ellen Lierk, current Development Committee Chair, has served on the Snow-Redfern Foundation Board as President, Secretary, and as Chair and member of various committees, for nearly twelve years and four terms, dating back as far as the Nebraska Boys Ranch days.

Leaving the World Better

As a child, Ellen’s mother encouraged her to leave the world better than she found it and so she has applied her mom’s sage advice to her careers, community involvement, relationships, and as an inclusive leader, visionary, and spiritual steward. Ellen and her husband, Charles, embedded these values with their three adult children and five grandchildren to permeate the future with hope, courage, and love.

Ellen’s professional life began as a social studies teacher and guidance counselor, with a bachelor degree in history and masters in guidance & counseling and in pastoral studies.  She also worked as a gift buyer for the family business Thiele Pharmacy & Gifts, as Box Butte County Economic Development Director, and as Pastoral Minister at Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

Her many years of service to the Snow-Redfern Foundation Board is informed by two strong beliefs.

First, “Each person is made in the image of God and each life is sacred. ”The second, Each of us is blessed to be a blessing.” 

These beliefs echo in Snow-Redfern’s efforts to encourage young people to strive, succeed, and find light in darkness, despite challenging circumstances.  The young poet, Amanda Gorman, reminds us that “there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.  If only we’re brave enough to be it.” 

As one who shares her light with others, Ellen believes that the Snow Redfern Foundation, those we support, and our benefactors who make the work possible, are lights. The light that is shared helps young people embrace their own light, ensuring that we all will have a brighter future.

Each Person is a Leader

Ellen has been impacted by Martin Luther King Jr.’s words that each person can be a leader, because each one can serve.  Throughout her life, Ellen has exemplified how servant leadership can be a light for others.  Ellen shares her light by listening carefully to others; persuading through reason; and healing divisions while building a compassionate community.

As Ellen prepares to finalize her 4th term on the board this year, she has dedicated the past year to mentoring and coaching young leaders to take her place as a giver of their own light.

Fortunately, everyone has a light that they can share with others.  If you would like to learn more about how you can share your light with children, reach out to us at [email protected] or by sharing a gift at