Octogenarian honored for volunteer services in District 1

Don’t talk to Ernie Carr about retirement. Granted, he no longer fills out a time card and reports for duty every morning, but he’s anything but retired.

He joined a Kiwanis club in 1995, served as its secretary for about four years, and then became Lt. Governor for the Pacific Northwest District No. 48 in 2001. That same year, he founded the Rathdrum-Lakeland Kiwanis Club, and borrowing from the Rathdrum club, he built a trailer to house the group’s annual fireworks sales.

“Thinking that it was a shame to have the trailer sit unused when not selling fireworks for the Fourth of July, he stopped by the (Huetter) rest area and spoke with one of our volunteers from the American Legion,” explains Diane DuBos, District 1 volunteer services coordinator. “There he discovered the opportunity to serve coffee to the motoring public, and once again reach out to his community.

“As time goes by, Ernie has continued to spread the word about our rest area program. He volunteers the use of his trailer and has recruited eight non-profit groups that offer their time and a good cup of coffee at the Huetter Rest Area.”

Carr coordinates the volunteer schedule for all eight groups, more than a quarter of the 28 groups that provide motorist services at the rest area. His groups include:

1. Rathdrum-Lakeland Kiwanis
2. Post Falls Jr. Rodeo Drovers
3. Post Falls Food Bank
4. Post Falls Jr. Tackle
5. Post Falls Jr. All-Stars
6. Kootenai Humane Society
7. Lake City Parents Association, and
8. The Knights of Columbus

The non-profit groups offer free coffee, cookies and doughnuts to travelers who stop at the rest area. The donations collected for those refreshments stay in the local community and support the volunteer organizations.

“After a little more than eight decades, we’ve only seen a glimpse of all that Ernie Carr has given of his time, talent and resources,” explains DuBos. “As he says, it’s all about ‘one child and one community at a time.’ “

For his continuing dedication and service, the Idaho Transportation Board this week presented Carr with the District 2 Volunteer of the Year award. It was given during the board’s business meeting in Coeur d’Alene.

To join Carr in volunteer service in District 2 (Coeur d’Alene area), contact DuBos at (208) 772-1297; for volunteering in other area of the state, contact Sherie Sweaney at (208) 334-8465.

Published 7-15-2011