We know how fortunate we are to welcome new members into our club; it’s an honor we never take for granted. Get to know one of our newest members, Nekole. The following is her introduction, as read by Sam Carroll:
“I would like to introduce Nekole Baurer, our Community Health Director at the YMCA.
If you would have asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, it would have been an animal doctor. From the time she was little, she cleaned and bandaged scrapes on the horses, bottle fed the calves that needed extra milk, and tried to patch up every broken wing that she found on her parent’s small farm in Southern Oregon. But that only tells a small part of who she would become as an adult. As a teenager, twice a week she helped her mother deliver food boxes to needy families that lived out in remote areas of the Rogue Valley. Then as a young adult, rather than going off to college straight out of high school, she stayed close to home working odd jobs from merchandise stocking and medical reception, to waitressing and bartending, so that she could continue to help her mom run the farm while her father and brother experienced ailing health.
A new chapter of her life began when she decided to pursue education at Oregon State University to study veterinary sciences (GO BEAVS!). Moving to the Willamette Valley was the best decision she could have made as that was where she met her husband of now 11 years and went on to have two lovely daughters. She also shares her home with two Boston Terriers and a very large Savannah Cat named Ed.
Now, a little over 6 years ago, Nekole found her way into the Salem Family YMCA, seeking socialization and health after recovering from a bout of cancer. During this time, she volunteered in our drop in child care center for members, and met some amazing folks down at the Y. This is where she found a piece of her that had been missing for a while, community and friendships. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Business Administration, knowing that all career choices in her future would require an understanding of business principles, and moved up in the organization. We are very lucky to have Nekole as part of our team, and I know that she is excited to become involved with Salem Rotary.
Please join me in offering a warm welcome to Nekole!”