by Aaron Brom
ECM Sun Newspapers
Kathleen Poate is perhaps too humble to admit it, but Rockin’ Rogers Days Chairperson Paul LeClaire is not.
And what would that be? That Poate was selected as the grand marshal of the Rockin’ Rogers Days, an honor typically bestowed upon a community member worthy of recognition.
“Kathleen was such a beautiful fit,” LeClaire said. “She’s done so much for the whole area. She was an easy choice.”
Poate did say she was exceptionally honored to receive the award.
“I feel very honored to be selected,” she said. “I think it’s very rewarding to be recognized by your community.”
Poate retired last year as the longtime president of the I-94 West Chamber of Commerce. Before moving with husband, David, to Rockford Township a few years ago, and right up to her retirement, Poate was very active in the Rogers community since the mid-’70s when she and David located to a then-Hassan Township property near Rogers Elementary School.
She helped guide the chamber through spectacular growth that mirrored Rogers’ own growth — from 60 charter members in 1989 to almost 600 today. But it wasn’t just the chamber where she left her mark. She served two terms on the Elk River School Board. She was also active with the Three Rivers Community Foundation and ROADS (education) Foundation, and Rivers of Hope community advocacy agency, serving on the boards of each.
“I became involved with various groups throughout the community and was happy to help with what I could,” she said. “Happy to do my part in making the community grow and prosper into the fine community it is today.”
Rockin’ Rogers Days is Thursday through Sunday, June 21 through 24.
As grand marshal, Poate will ride in the parade Saturday, June 23, beginning at noon on Main Street.
“I moved to Rogers in 1974 and enjoyed every minute of it,” Poate said. “I did everything I could to get involved. It was a small town and a great place to raise kids. I just wanted to give back what the community was giving to us, a nice small-town atmosphere.”