The Payson Lions Club has selected Payson Elementary School Health Specialist Laurie Lindell their 2004 "Citizen of the Year."
Lindell, an employee of the Payson Unified School District for 18 years, learned of the award when it was presented to her at the service club's annual meeting Jan. 11 at Tiny's Restaurant.
"I was humbled by it (the award)," Lindell said. "But it's the Lions who should be getting the award; their generosity and community service sets a great example for the rest of us."
According to longtime Lions Club member George Spears, Lindell was selected for the work she does in helping the club carry out its mission of providing hearing and vision care for needy elementary school students.
"She really knows the kids and the ones that need our help," Spears said. "She goes above and beyond the call of duty."
PES principal Roy Sandoval concurred with Spear's assessment.
"Having a great health specialist can make the difference in a student's life," he said. "She is one of the best in what she does and she takes so much pride in it."
According to Sandoval, when Lindell comes across students with vision and hearing problems and the parents don't have the finances for professional care or to purchase glasses or hearing aids, she steers the parents to the Lions Club.
The principal estimates Lindell has helped hundreds of students over the years receive the health care they need to be good students and citizens at PES.
"Without her help, some wouldn't have succeeded," he said.
A Lindell referral also carries a lot of merit with Lions Club members.
"If Laurie sends them to us, we know they are in need," Spears said.
In addition to working at PES providing health care for students, Lindell volunteers each year at the Lions Health Fair and works with the rehabilitation unit at the Payson Fire Department. She's also an emergency medical technician and volunteers her services to a variety of other fire agencies.