Kiwanis honors Linda Baar

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Having joined the St. Maries Kiwanis Club only four years ago, Linda Baar never thought she would be named Kiwanian of the Year anytime soon.

“It’s an award that has been given to a longer term member. One that went to all the functions,” Ms. Baar said.

So it was a total surprise for her when she received the award last week.

Linda Baar was named Kiwanian of the Year. Ms. Baar has been a member of the club for the past four years.

Linda Baar was named Kiwanian of the Year. Ms. Baar has been a member of the club for the past four years.

“I was not expecting it,” she said. “I was kind of dumbfounded. But it was a nice surprise.”

Ms. Baar said she first went to a Kiwanis meeting to pitch the idea of saving box tops and labels for education.

“I just wanted to ask them to save their box tops and labels because schools can earn up to $20,000 a year to do whatever they want with,” she said. “And I was the one putting the pink boxes out around town.”

The meeting she attended caught her attention, however.

“It was very informal and I liked the people. They sounded like a fun group,” she said. “So I asked if I could join before I left.”

Ms. Baar said during her first year in the club she helped wherever she could. She said the first event she helped with was the Benewah County Fair.

“I suggested they could have a table at the fair and I could sit at it sell tickets for our pig raffle,” she said. “We did well with it and so then we had a table at Paul Bunyan Days.”

Since then, Ms. Baar is often the one behind the table selling tickets for the pig raffle at the two events. She said it is one of the main reasons she was selected for the Kiwanian of the Year award.

“I’m one of the main people who will sit for seven days straight to sell tickets at the fair and then again at Paul Bunyan Days.”

Ms. Baar said she also is the communications officer for the club.

“Whenever there is something that everybody needs to know I will make the phone calls,” she said.

She also served as the treasurer for the club last year and was reelected to serve for the coming year.

Ms. Baar said she has also helped at various events where the Kiwanis cooked meals. She said the club has “quite a following” when it comes to the meals they prepare.

“We have regulars who will come eat with us wherever we are,” she said.

Ms. Baar said after she retired, the Kiwanis Club provided an outlet for her to continue to socialize and meet other people in the community.

“I retired from the post office where I worked the front counter,” she said. “I got used to talking and visiting with people. This allows me to continue to do that.”

She added everyone in the Kiwanis Club has “their own niche, but we always work together to get things done.”

Ms. Baar said her favorite part about being involved with the club was being able to reach out and help those in the community in need.

“All of our money that we send out stays here in the local community,” she said. “If you want an organization that really tries to do good service in their community, enjoys what they do, and has a good time doing it, this is it.”

Projects the Kiwanis supported this past year include providing wood to seniors, St. Joe River Marathon, highway litter pickup, visiting the residents at Valley Vista and organizing parties for them, donating chocolate for the local Easter egg hunt, 4-H, school supplies, swim passes for low income families and swim lessons, Grammies Jammies, CASA, and helped fire victims to name just a few.

“This is a great, great bunch of people,” Ms. Baar said.

The Kiwanis Club meets at noon every Thursday at Benewah Community Hospital’s conference room. On the third Thursday of the month, meetings are at the St. Maries Fire Station.

Anyone who is interested in joining the club is welcome to attend.

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