In what was probably a precedent setting move, the Niles Rotary Club named a Kiwanis Club member as the Rotary Person of the Year.
''We're recognizing a person who goes beyond membership duties to serve the community,'' said Rotarian Fr. Tom Kraszewski.
The award went to Kadie Bowen, who Kraszewski described as a ''good example of a citizen of our city through her sacrifice and work with young people.''
The Niles Times / Kathleen Evanoff
Rotarian Steven Simunich reads a proclamation from the office of Niles Mayor Ralph Infante recognizing Kadie Bowen as the Rotary’s Person of the Year for 2013.
Bowen, who attended the meeting held Thursday at Ciminero's Banquet Centre, was with other members of the Niles Kiwanis Club attending as guests of the Rotary Club.
''What an honor it is to be recognized as the citizen of the year,'' she said.
Bowen said she learned about giving back to the community through her former employer at what was then known as Reactive Metals, now RTI.
''As secretary to the president (of Reactive Metals), he was very community-minded,'' Bowen said. ''He encouraged me to be motivated and I got involved with the Help Hotline.''
Bowen said she took classes and through her work with the hotline, became familiar with area agencies available to those in need.
As a member of the Kiwanis Club, Bowen has been advisor of the Niles McKinley High School Key Club for several years. Now with 75 members, the Key Club students do several community service projects throughout the year, including working with Niles Community Services during their food drives and school supply collections, wrapping gifts for the Salvation Army at the Eastwood Mall over the Christmas season, working the Friends of the McKinley Memorial Library book sale and hosting a ''date night'' babysitting service for parents at St. Stephen Church.
''You hear so often the negative comments with the kids,'' Bowen said, ''but my experience has never been anything but positive.''
Among her many community service projects and in addition to her work with the Key Club, Bowen is president of the Friends of the McKinley Memorial Library and is a member of the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary.
Rotarian Steve Simunich read a proclamation from the office of Niles Mayor Ralph Infante also recognizing Bowen for her volunteer work within the community.
Bowen is the third recipient of the Person of the Year award presented by Niles Rotary. Previous winners were Frank Burke and Linda Bennett.