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Smithsburg Fire Co. auxiliary president known as 'a hard worker'

Not even a broken ankle could keep Lorraine 'Kitty' Baker from her duties

May 04, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

SMITHSBURG -- You can't keep a good woman down.

After breaking several bones in her left ankle a year ago, Lorraine "Kitty" Baker stayed involved with the Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Co.

During the first few months while she was recovering, the fire company's ladies auxiliary met at her house, she said. She returned to regular meetings and fundraisers last fall.

Baker, who is president of the ladies auxiliary, received an Outstanding Citizen Award from Smithsburg's mayor and Town Council on Jan. 31 at her surprise 80th birthday party.

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The award was bestowed upon Baker for her constant work in the community and with the ladies auxiliary, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

"She's always there. She's dependable," whether it's a soup and potpie sale for the auxiliary or a fundraiser for the fire company, Fire Chief Christopher Rohrer said.

Baker remained involved, even when she was laid up for several months with her broken ankle, Rohrer said.

In February, the fire company honored Baker with an administrative Unsung Hero Award, Rohrer said.

"She's always in the background" and doesn't seek the limelight, Rohrer said.

Baker said she was "speechless" when she walked into the fire company's meeting hall in January and was surprised by more than 100 friends and family members.

Baker has been an auxiliary member since 1974 and a member of the fire company since 1994, she said.

In 1974, she moved from Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., to Smithsburg, and joined the auxiliary at the encouragement of her then-neighbor, Gladys Pound, who is now deceased, Baker said. For the first four years, she just paid dues because her night-shift work at Landis Machine in Waynesboro, Pa., prevented her from doing much more, she said.

In 1978, she got a day job with Mack Trucks. Co-worker Glenn Fishack, who was a member of the fire department, encouraged her to become more active with the auxiliary.

So she started going to meetings and helping with fundraisers.

"I bake all the time, mostly for the fire company and church," said Baker, a member of Garfield United Methodist Church in Frederick County, Md. She mostly bakes pies -- apple, peach, raisin, cherry, lemon, coconut cream, chocolate cream, meringue and French apple, an iced pie with apples and raisins.

When Fishack ran for fire company president around 1980, Baker ran for auxiliary president.

She has been president or vice president of the ladies auxiliary since 1980, she said.

"She's a hard worker," said Fishack, president of the Washington County Fire and Rescue Association.

She cares for her community, he said.

The auxiliary holds fundraisers to help the fire company, such as buying it a new refrigerator that is expected to be delivered soon, Baker said.

Baker said she's made some good friends through the auxiliary.

"I wouldn't know what to do without it," she said.

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