Batesville Kiwanis Club names new leader Citizen of the Year

By Lisa Burnett Published November 3, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
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Outgoing Batesville Kiwanis Club President Brian Berry presents Jan Rorie with the Citizen of the Year Award from the Kiwanis Club. The award is given each year to a member who demonstrates outstanding citizenship.

BATESVILLE — At the end of September, Jan Rorie didn’t expect to get called onstage at what she thought was an installation banquet the Batesville Kiwanis Club hosts each year.

It was with joy and tears that she heard her name called and learned she had been named the 2013 Citizen of the Year by the club on Sept. 23.

The award overwhelmed her.

“I couldn’t even speak,” she said. “It came about 20 years too soon.”

“This is something we’ve been doing since 1952,” said Rorie, who has been a member of the club since 2008. “It’s not based on membership. It can go to anyone who shows outstanding citizenship.”

She said that in order for someone to receive this award, the current president of the club designates a committee, and its members vote on the person most qualified to receive it. The award is based on performance in Kiwanis-based activities and involvement in the community.

Rorie said one of the things she participates in as a Kiwanian is registration for the club’s youth football program in the city.

“We have about 150 students each year,” she said. Third- through sixth-grade students play football for community-sponsored teams.

“I help on Saturdays in August when we’re signing young men up,” Rorie said. “Sometimes there are children who just can’t afford to play football, and we offer them scholarships. That’s always very gratifying.”

In addition to helping with the football program, Rorie served as chairwoman of this year’s Pancake Day fundraiser, and it was a success.

Larry Price, the Kiwanis Club president, said Rorie is involved in everything she can get involved in.

“She’s been big in Kiwanis for years, and Pancake Day was a big success because of Jan’s work,” he said. “Any project the Kiwanis did, she’s been involved in it.”

Rorie grew up in Blytheville and moved to Batesville in 1989. She’s lived there for 24 years.

She just started her term as president-elect, and next October, she will be president of the Batesville Kiwanis Club.

Rorie said her membership with the Kiwanis hasn’t been for herself; it’s been for the children and people who benefit from the projects the club sponsors.

“I know we’re all working together to make Batesville a better place,” she said.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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