By David Fleet
Each year since 2000, The Citizen newspaper has recognized people in the community who make positive changes to our area. The individual volunteers to make a real difference in the readership area.
After more than a decade of leading the Good Times in Goodrich Festival with 100 percent volunteers The Citizen newspaper recognizes Jenny McKenzie as the 2019 Citizen of the Year for Goodrich and Atlas Township. At 2:30 p.m., Aug. 3 McKenzie will be honored at The Good Times in Goodrich Festival.
A native of Berrigan, Australia a village of about 1,000 in New South Wales, McKenzie earned a degree in agricultural from Wagga Wagga, Agricultural College. She worked for the New South Wales Department of Agriculture in Sydney, Australia, prior to moving to Cincinnati with her husband John. The couple then moved to Grand Blanc Township in September 2003.
“I was a bored housewife,” said McKenzie. “So I decided to start volunteering in the community.”
With children, William and Alexandra in the Goodrich Schools, McKenzie was active with the PTO for several years along with the Atlas/Goodrich Chamber of Commerce. In 2005 she chaired the Good Times in Goodrich Festival.
“I wanted to show off what Goodrich had to offer and for people to have a good time here,” she said. “I realized that people who live in Goodrich don’t go downtown enough. I challenge myself every year and strive to make the festival grow while still maintaining a family atmosphere.”
Through the efforts of the Good Times committee more than $24,000 raised and donated to area families in need, scholarships and community projects in the last three years. The latest project was in conjunction with Goodrich Schools to offset the cost of 35,000 square feet of millings near Reid Elementary School and the bus garage on Eire Street. The project included the assistance of area businesses Rick Reickel of Goodrich Landscaping and Johnson & Sons excavating and completed on July 20.
“We are working to embrace something for everyone—to keep people who attend there from the morning to afternoon.”
McKenzie says there’s a reason for people to come back each year and is now considering a multi day event.
“We need to attract people from other areas to really make this go,” she said. “Good Times is growing each year with new people finding Goodrich the first week of August. Growing business and community go hand and hand—you need both to make this event successful.”
By David Fleet