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Member Spotlight: Lora Kirmer

February is ‘heart month.’ The heart of Rotary is our members. I am pleased to feature one of our newest members, Lora Kirmer. Lora wants to get to know each of you better. Come back to Rotary and invite a friend to join. Let’s make our beat go on! I am wishing you a healthy heart and a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Brenda O’Gorman, Membership Chair

I grew up in Holly, Colorado, a town of about 800 people just 4 miles inside of the Colorado border on Highway 50. I’m the youngest (and shortest) of three. Both of my parents worked for the local school district, as a teacher and transportation director. I attended McPherson College, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in Transformative Entrepreneurship. While at McPherson, I also took courses in the Automotive Restoration program and focused on the automobile and society. After graduating in 2016, I moved around a bit before I settled in Emporia, Kansas, where I met my husband, Dustin Michelson. I lived in Emporia while I attended Kansas State University, earning my Master of Arts in Communication Studies in 2020. During my graduate student career, I taught public speaking and worked as a research assistant on a grant that studied juvenile justice in western Kansas. COVID-19 stunted my job search, but I was employed part-time at the Lyon County History Center until I found my way to Child Advocacy and Parenting Services (CAPS), in March 2021. We moved to Salina in July 2021 with our three cats. Growing up in a rural town meant that many of our services were only there because of volunteers. My family spent weekends volunteering our time to run the local movie theater, manage the concession stands during summer baseball, and guiding youth activities after school. My experiences as a community volunteer instilled a sense of service in me, which is something I am proud of. I feel an intrinsic sense to give back to my community through acts of service. When I am not volunteering or working, I can be found passionately pursuing any number of my hobbies. These include, but are definitely not limited to, running, reading, trying a new recipe, playing a new game, upcycling thrifted finds, researching autonomous vehicle technology and studying its socio-cultural impact, and exploring my community as if I were a tourist. I am glad to be part of the Salina Noon Rotary Club!

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