EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— All month-long Eyewitness News is highlighting the four finalists for our remarkable women’s competition.
“I help any group in my community. I don’t care what it is. If I can figure it out, I do,” stated Kim Erickson the Remarkable Women nominee.
For Kim Erickson, giving back to her community is a lifelong endeavor that began when she was a child from the direction of her mother.
“It gave us something to do and it helped other people. and got us involved with other things too in the community,” said Margaret Pearsall, Kim’s mother.
After her mother, Margaret, was diagnosed with cancer Kim dedicated much of her time to volunteering with the American Cancer Society and served as president for nearly a decade.
One of her biggest fundraising projects is filling a dump truck with pennies.
“Everyone thought I was insane, but I said if you don’t make it crazy and fun, people don’t get into it,” explained Erickson.
More than $8,000 in pennies were donated to ACS. As time went on Kim started to focus on giving back to the place she calls home.
“If I live in Wayne county, I want the money to stay in Wayne County,” continued Erickson.
The daughter of a veteran, she’s focused much of her work on helping those who’ve served our country.
That included the ‘Tour of Honor’ in 2007 which Eyewitness News covered.
“We’re going to have almost all their needs taken care of and they shouldn’t have to spend any money for the day,” said Erickson.
She helped raise tens of thousands of dollars to rent a 757 jetliner to fly WWII Veterans and caretakers from Avoca to Washington D.C. to see their war memorial.
For another project, Kim walked 168 cemeteries in Wayne County to learn all the names of the local veterans buried in the county. She took that information and designed “The Walk of Honor.”
“Now there are 17 podiums right beside the courthouse and you can walk down it and see all the names and you go up to the map and the monument in the center and it will tell you what cemetery that person is buried in,” explained Erickson.
A few steps away veterans’ banners are visible which she organized, hung, and even compiled a book that outlines each veteran’s history.
History has been a passion for Kim who also donates much of her time to helping the Wayne County Historical Society. She even wrote a book on Honesdale and donated all the proceeds to the Historical Society.
Executive Director Carol Dunn sees firsthand the impact Kim has on the area, which is why she nominated Kim as a remarkable woman.
“She doesn’t just dream of the projects, she gets it going and she finishes them,” said Dunn.
Kim doesn’t say no to any idea even the ones that seem nearly impossible like restoring an 1888 Spencer Steam Tractor that lay in ruin.
After three years of dedication and hard work, Kim and several volunteers completed the project. Kim always makes sure to give credit to others who helped complete her goals.
“I’m pretty much a good one-woman show, but I know I need my community. So I come up with the crazy ideas, and then I just start networking,” stated Erickson.
When one project or fundraiser is complete Kim is already thinking about the next way to give back.
Her next project?
A monument for female military service members. One remarkable woman highlighting many remarkable women.