Two Tonto Basin Kiwanians were recently recognized at the Southwest District Convention held in Chandler. Yvonne Quick received the Kachina Award and Mariann Holder became the club’s first Unsung Hero.
The Kachina Award is the highest award presented by the Southwest District Foundation. Quick, a longtime member of the Tonto Basin Kiwanis Club has served as president, treasurer for 18 years, and is president-elect for the coming year. She is the thrust behind the yearly bingo program, works one day a week at the Tonto Basin Thrift Store and has supervised the food bank for years.
If these volunteer positions didn’t merit the Kachina Award, Yvonne’s desire to make the club the best it can be does, said Twila Chambers, club secretary. She mentors new members in understanding the bylaws and knowing the difference between our club and foundation. She has helped keep club traditions alive like the Veterans Day Pancake Breakfast and the Christmas Angel Tree. She helped convert a doublewide into a community center and bingo space.
The Unsung Hero Award is a new award established by Kiwanis Governor Don Levine. It honors those who work behind the scenes and often go unrewarded for their service. The Tonto Basin Kiwanis Club is proud to claim Holder as our unsung hero. Even before she joined Kiwanis, Mariann volunteered in the Kiwanis Thrift Store and flipped pancakes with her husband, Harry, at the annual pancake breakfast.
Initially, she was a self-proclaimed shy person not comfortable interacting with strangers, Chambers said. She came out of her shell when she became a cashier in the thrift store. Then she volunteered to work with the Gila County building and permits office and then club president Greta Snyder as our club moved in a doublewide trailer and began its transformation into a community center. She pored over blueprints and met endlessly (sometimes needlessly) with the county. We would often find her with a tape measure and pad of paper determining the slope of a ramp, where the lights in the parking lot should go and many other things only her engineering past could foresee and understand.
Although the building is complete and open to community events, Holder continues to deal with the final details. A building update is standard fare for our weekly club meetings and Holder is the one calling the shots to determine where a new electrical outlet is best placed for the bingo equipment or any other thing that might be needed.