Pat Baldinger has been a 4-H advisor for 60 years. The 4-H milkshake booth at the Marion County Fair was named after her! Baldinger has personally impacted many 4-H members over the years. She was a 4-H member. Baldinger participated in two different clubs. She then went on to become a 4-H advisor for the Green Camp Shamrocks.
“4-H is one of the best organizations to get kids ready for adulthood that’s around. There are so many different activities, from homemaking to animals,” Baldinger said. “There is so much they can do and can be successful in, even as an adult.”
The Green Camp Shamrocks planted flowers at the cemetery and local community center. Baldinger is the proudest of her work with the Marion County 4-H milkshake stand. The stand typically raises between $6,000 and $7,000 each year at the county fair to support local 4-H programs.
In 2019 Pat received the Meritorious Award, an award recognizing adult 4-H volunteers for lifetime service, at the Ohio State 4-H Conference for her 60 years of dedication to the program. Baldinger has also been inducted into the Marion County 4-H Hall of Fame and was once recognized as a Marion County Fair Supporter of the Year.
Baldinger loves to keep busy and enjoys having other people around.
“I think it’s important to help people, that’s the reason I give back to the community,” said Baldinger of her service.
Baldinger fills her days with volunteer activities. She has been helping at the St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Pantry for 15 years. Baldinger has coordinated volunteers and prepared food boxes for clients. Baldinger is a devoted and active member of St. Mary Catholic Church.
Baldinger fondly remembers taking food to people through the pantry.
“For children to realize they were able to receive something they don’t normally get was so neat. Families would be overwhelmed by what we would take them,” Baldinger recalls of this past practice. “People’s comments are fond memories to have, to know that you have helped someone deeply.”
Baldinger is a Pearl Roberts Award recipient. The award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding community service and volunteerism by a senior citizen in Marion County. The award is named in honor of Mrs. Pearl Roberts, who was instrumental in the development of the current Marion Senior Center facility, as well as many other programs and services for Marion area older adults.
A board member on the Marion County Council on Aging, Pat also serves as president of Green Camp Seniors and sits on the executive board of the Marion County Retired Teachers.
Baldinger grew up in Marion County west of Green Camp. She graduated from Bowling Green University and is now a retired teacher. She taught elementary school in Green Camp. When the Elgin district was formed, she taught in Prospect at Elgin South. She mentored student teachers and was always available with friendly advice and a helping hand.
Baldinger was recently recognized by the Women’s Business Council as a nominee for the annual Athena Award. The ATHENA Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating leadership opportunities for women. Marion is one of a select number of cities to present the Athena Award of excellence in leadership to a woman of distinction each year. The ATHENA Award is intended to recognize outstanding business and professional women in the community and to create an environment where providing assistance, encouragement, and mentoring to women would be uniquely valued.
Baldinger is known to be an inspiration.
“She volunteers selflessly and gives all organizations she is involved with 100% of her time and dedication,” Sherry Hutchins said.
Baldinger believes others can have an impact and give back to their community.
“Everyone should want to help make our community better,” said Baldinger. “One thing we should all think about is how we can all help each other.”