News Column

Town celebrates big hearts and old friends

July 14, 2014

By Danielle Wiley, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho

July 14--The town of Troy is filled with kind-hearted volunteers, says Marilyn Kerns, and these volunteers are not given all the recognition they deserve. That's why Kerns, president of the Troy Lions Club, decided to make this year's Old Timers Day theme "Thank a Volunteer."

Troy residents and visitors enjoyed a parade, a 5K run, a car show, buffalo burgers, live music, games and a keg war on Saturday during Old Timers Day, a tradition in Troy since 1892 and hosted by the local Lions Club since the 1970s. Kerns said that the day is a celebration of old friends and their reunions.

"Everybody comes back. That's when they have all the (class) reunions. They do them on this particular weekend," Kerns said. "There's even a wedding today, too."

During the day about 600 people visit Troy and enjoy all the activities. The Lions Club organized a pancake breakfast, the buffalo burger lunch, live music, a buffalo chip toss, a gravel auction, a rifle raffle and all the restrooms. Other events were put on by the Boy Scouts, the Troy ambulance, the high school volleyball team, Diane's Troy Tavern and the Troy Volunteer Fire Department.

While visitors enjoyed the events they were encouraged to pin little pink flags on those they know have volunteered or helped out the community in some special way.

"Our volunteers never want to take recognition, so this is a way of putting them on the radar," Kern said.

She said that she came up with the idea for the theme one day while she was washing windows at the Lions Club office. A friend was driving by when he saw someone who was having car trouble down the road. So he turned back and pulled up next to the car and helped them jump start their engine.

She also noticed an older lady, who lived across the street, returning her neighbors trash cans to their porches after the trash had been picked up.

She said she heard about a couple in Troy who befriended a person at the park.

"She was homeless. They talked about it and they offered to let her come home with them. The next day she opened up to them and said that she walked out of her life and was regretting it. So they helped her get back home," Kern said smiling. "These are people who do these nice things, and nobody knows about it."

Marie Vogel, the Lions Club Tail Twister, agreed with Kern saying there are so many people who volunteer in the community that if they stopped the community wouldn't function the same.

"People volunteer their time for almost any kind of occasion," Vogel said.

Vogel said Troy has a new fire station and new fire trucks thanks to the push of volunteers in town who helped raise funds and push the issue.

Vogel and Kern also mentioned that this past year some children in the community have been sick, and the community came together to help those families. One instance was when the town put on Race for Chase, the 5k fun run that supported a local high school student and his fight against leukemia.

"We are a really special community. It's the kind of place that when you get here you feel like 'this is where I belong,' " Kern said.

All the money made Saturday by the Lions Club will go back into the town, Vogel said. During the year the club gives money to scholarships, fundraisers and other nonprofits to help Troy thrive. Vogel said the Lions Club on average invests around $25,000 annually.

About 200 people showed up for the morning breakfast and to line the street for the parade. The parade consisted of local organizations, businesses and Democrat and Republican candidates from districts that include Troy.

There was a burger lunch of traditional ground buffalo meat, while children enjoyed a bounce house, inflatable pool fun and live music. The evening ended with a live music and a street dance sponsored by the local tavern.

Danielle Wiley can be reached at


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Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News (ID)

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