LINWOOD — Catherine Evinski was shocked as well as humbled to learn that she was chosen as Linwood’s citizen of the year.
“When I received a call from (Park Director) Laurie Montgomery asking if I was going to be at the park on Memorial Day, I figured she needed a hand with something to do with the parade, and I was ready to volunteer,” said Evinski. “When she said I needed to be at the park for the ceremony because I was chosen citizen of the year, I honestly was shocked. There are so many people who lend their hand to help in Linwood; any one of them could have been chosen. I am honored and I am humbled to be recognized.”
Linwood’s citizen of the year did not grow up in Linwood but she readily admits she and her family of husband Steven and daughters Julianna, 16, Charlotte, 14, and Helena, 10, have definitely sunk very deep roots in Linwood.
Evinski is from Elkton, Maryland, where her parents own a business and where she was a fourth-grade teacher. She and Steven moved to Linwood in 2001 to be near Steven’s parents, who were experiencing some health concerns.
“Linwood is small-town USA,” said Evinski. “I grew up in a town that was all spread out and it is a nice community, but it does not have that warm and friendly feel like Linwood.” Evinski said the bike path slicing through the city and the park, the arboretum, the schools and the Linwood Historical Society make the town something very special. “I love that my girls can go over to their friends house in just a few minutes and likewise, friends can pop into our home.”
Evinski was nominated by several people for citizen of the year and she had been nominated last year as well, according to Montgomery. Christine D’Alessandro said in her nomination: “Catherine’s commitment to improve the Linwood community is unwavering and unselfish. She is the embodiment of the spirit of the town's character. A leader in the schools and the Historical Society, Catherine’s work to celebrate Linwood’s past is an undeniable promise to the future.”
Evinski was also nominated by Marisa Hieb, a Seaview School teacher. Hieb spoke of the sense of volunteerism by Evinski and that she has shared that love of helping others with her daughters, who volunteer alongside their mother.
Linwood’s Citizen of the Year can often be found in the city’s schools, where she is frequently a substitute teacher as well as a volunteer. As a PTO volunteer, she helped facilitate the popular multicultural fair that blends the rich ethic backgrounds in Linwood into an evening that is as tasty and colorful as it is educational. Likewise, Evinski spends many hours working with the Linwood Historical Society, where she has been president for nine years and helps plan educational visits and traditional events such as the upcoming July 4th Linwood Bike Parade.