Her roots in giving came naturally as her father was the Episcopal Bishop of Wyoming, and her late husband's father was also an Episcopal minister. Sally graduated from the University of Wyoming with a double major in economics and sociology.
She married George Hopper and after a few years in Cheyenne, they settled in Colorado. Here they raised 4 daughters; all now grown. Raising 4 daughters let Sally enjoy every aspect of volunteering with Brownies, Girl Scouts and in the classroom. She was also the first chairman of the Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital Antique Show and Sale. She volunteered at Spalding for over 20 years.
Another love of Sally's was politics. She served as a Chairman of the Goldwater Presidential Campaign and has been involved politically ever since. She ran for the State Senate in 1986 and was elected. She was re-elected in 1990 and 1994 before term limits made her ineligible to run again. She represented a very large district that encompassed the western parts of Jefferson and Boulder Counties as well as all of Eagle, Pitkin, Summit and Clear Creek and Gilpin counties.
Going to meetings in the district allowed her to meet a variety of people in diverse businesses (mining, skiing, tourism and small business) many of whom are still friends today, almost 20 years later. Sally served as Chairman of the HEWI (Health, Environment, Welfare and Institutions) Committee and is most proud of the legislation that she sponsored into law that benefited children. Other legislative accomplishments included the Build a Generation program, the establishment of Broomfield county, and the Youth Crime and Intervention Program, which was implemented after the summer of violence.
One might suppose that Sally would relax after leaving the legislature. While Sally does enjoy reading, skiing, the Rockies and the Nuggets, and has time to pursue her interest in historic preservation and watching her grandchildren grow, she is more involved with the community now.
She serves (or has served) on the University Hospital Board, the Rose Foundation Health Committee, on the vestry of her Episcopal church, the Hotel De Paris Museum in Georgetown, and as chairman of CIFGA (Colorado Intermountain Fixed Guideway Authority)
When Sally served in the legislature she became aware that while there Were a lot of programs serving newborns, pregnant teenagers and single moms, there weren’t many programs for young girls (11-14) at risk.
With a goal of helping girls, Sally and her 4 daughters spent a lot of time finding out what programs were in place since they didn't want to duplicate existing programs. In 2000 they started the George W. Hopper Family Foundation (in memory of Sally's late husband) to help fund programs that work with middle school age girls.
What's important in your life: family and friends
What's in your future: We never know, but I would like to make a difference ("bloom where I am planted")
Favorite restaurant: Rivers in Glenwood Springs
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have met: When I was 18, I worked at the JY Ranch near Moose, Wyoming, in the Tetons. It was owned by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and he was vacationing there for a couple of weeks. He was 82 at the time, a very kind and considerate gentleman. One of his guests at the ranch was John Kenneth Galbraith. I later took an economics class in college and used his textbook.
Do you have any pets?: Not now, when my children were young, we had a lovely golden retriever, Vicky, who lived to be 14.
What was your first job: I was a "soda jerk" at the Jenny Lake Store in the Tetons.
What is your greatest indulgence: sking two days a week all Winter
Who is the greatest love of my life: My late husband, George. I feel lucky we had 31 wonderful years together.
What is your current state of mind: contentment
What is your most treasured possession: At my age, one doesn't worry about "possessions".
What is the best advice you have ever received: As a teenager, I read the biography of Mahatma Ghandi. His Mother told him to do the best he could in his "corner of the world". This is great advice for anyone.
What's the funniest thing that's happened to you?: Not too funny at the time, but I attended a luncheon for over 200 nurses when I was in the Legislature and heard myself introduced as the luncheon speaker. (No one had bothered to tell me about this ahead of time.) I've always heard that the best speech is one delivered without notes!!!
What are your hobbies and interests: reading, skiing, family and friends.
If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be? Years ago, I had a wonderful trip to South Africa and Zimbabwae. I have always wanted to take my children and grandchildren there and now because of the unrest in that area, I am not comfortable taking such a trip.
What do you like about the town you live in?: I live in unincorporated Jeffco, but have adopted the town of Idaho Springs. The people there are very friendly, have great civic pride and are working very hard to preserve the heritage of the town