Rudolph (Rudy) Moyado, a nine-time Chicago Marathon runner, grew up in the south side of Chicago before he moved to Portage about 20 years ago with his wife, Linda and three children, Steven, Jon, and Natalie. He worked for ComEd for 35 years in the instrumentation department where he calibrated, maintained, and troubleshot electrical controls within the power plant.
About two years ago, Moyado retired from working at ComEd, but did not just want to sit around and do nothing day in and day out.
“I have always worked with my hands… 35 years and counting. The first thing I did when I retired was I started working on things around my house. My wife is really good at working on projects with me and some of our bigger projects we did included re-insulating some of our exterior walls on our house, re-staining our wood stairs, and building a garden,” Moyado said.
Once all of Moyado’s big projects around the house were complete, he wanted to do more, which is when he got involved with volunteering.
“I thought that I just couldn’t stay at home all the time. I wanted to use my time and have different challenges. When I was working with ComEd, we always worked with United Way and they are all about giving back to the community,” he said. “I then asked myself ‘How can I do my part and give back to my community?’ So, I looked into it more and came across some opportunities.”
Moyado first found a volunteering opportunity with Park Place Apartments by helping out with construction. Once that was complete he took on a volunteering opportunity for Meals on Wheels where he currently helps out in the kitchen one day a week. In addition to his time at Meals on Wheels, he also volunteers at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso.
“I have been volunteering at the Memorial Opera House since around Christmas time and will volunteer anywhere from two to five days a week for about two to six hours a day,” Moyado said.
He has helped out a ton at the Memorial Opera House. Some of the things he has done thus far are he helped Scott “Stretch” Miller, the tech guy, with his control panel, put monitors up, organized the paint room, installed shelving, and helped the master carpenter make numerous stage props, just to name a few.
“One project that I really am kind of proud of is that I straightened out and organized their paint room. We went through a couple of productions and the room has stayed organized since, so people are using it and it seems that it is easier for people to find the paint they need,” he stated.
Some of Moyado’s ongoing projects at the Memorial Opera House include building a storage bench, building a bench for the bar area, working on a stair edging project, and helping the prop manager design and improve a lounge chair.
Not only does he spend hours volunteering during the week at the House, but he has also enjoyed attending their productions, including a play and some concerts, which showcase all of his hard work.
“It is rewarding to be busy and give back to the community. Everyone at the Memorial Opera House is so positive and happy, and it just a pleasure to deal with everyone there,” he said. “It is also a way to socialize with and get to know people, instead of getting in a rut of your everyday life. It adds a little variety to my life.”
Outside of volunteering, he enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and young granddaughter, Elaina. Some of his hobbies include gardening, fishing, biking, baking, grilling, and walking on the trail by his house with his wife and dogs.
“I’m a walker, I used to be a runner. I have run nine Chicago Marathons, but my knees cannot take it anymore, so I have settled for walking. I am currently training for the Indy Mini Marathon that is in May,” he said.
He also enjoys amateur photography and working on stain glass projects.
“I have always worked with my hands, so doing my hobbies and volunteering is just so fulfilling to me,” he said. “It just feels good to give back to my community, which makes my world a little happier and a little better. If you have the time to volunteer, I recommend that you do it because it is so rewarding.”