LAST DAY ON THE JOB: Pam Moon, right, gets hugs from friends and colleagues at her retirement reception at the Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children office in Madison on Thursday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
LAST DAY ON THE JOB: Pam Moon, right, gets hugs from friends and colleagues at her retirement reception at the Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children office in Madison on Thursday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Pamela Moon spent the first few hours of her retirement receiving well-wishes from friends and celebrating her work of the last six years as executive director of Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children.

Moon, who retired Thursday, was the non-profit's first director after the organization hired full-time staffers in 2008.

While the idea of retirement hadn't quite sunk in just hours after working her last day at the office, Moon said she looks forward to the next new adventure.

"(It's) a little scary," Moon said at a retirement open house held in her honor. "I've worked for 50 years."

Moon said she's not sure how it is going to feel tomorrow - or next week - when she doesn't report to the Main Street office as usual, but she already has plans to keep herself busy.

"I have other things I'm going to do," she said, noting she wants to spend more time with her family and grandchildren.

She also plans to work part-time with LifeSpring and eventually volunteer for the program she's helped nurture over the years.

"In between all of that I hope to do something for myself," she said.

Moon helped Voices for Children, which organizes Court Appointed Special Advocates to help abused and neglected children, grow from a few volunteers to nearly 40 during the past six years. The program began in Jefferson County in 2006, but only served the county's children involved in the courts system on a part-time basis.

After seeing a need, the organization merged with Ripley County's program and hired a full-time staff. The program operated under Pathways Youth Shelter & Family Services until 2011, when the organization became incorporated in Indiana and received non-profit status.

The need for the program hasn't declined over the years. If anything, the need has grown in the community, Moon said. That's one of the reasons retirement was such a difficult decision.

Moon had thought about retiring for about three or four months before finally making her decision. It worked out that Tonya Richter, a Voices for Children volunteer and board member, had just completed her master's degree in counseling. She will replace Moon as director.

"She knows the program," Moon said. "She knows the need."

The two had always joked that Richter just might eventually take Moon's place. They have worked together to ensure a smooth transition.

"She's going to take it to the next level," Moon said.

Moon said she'll miss working with the volunteers. She wants to return as a volunteer herself eventually. Since she knows the needs of the program first-hand, it will be a difficult to stay away.

Still, she hopes to take a little time to adjust to her new schedule and being a retiree.

"It's been a fun ride," she said. "It's been an awesome opportunity. I've been blessed to do this."