Joann Hilton and other Rotarians work hard for Lincoln

By: Editor's column
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Joann Hilton is very devoted to her Rotary Club of Lincoln.

As committee chairwoman of the Lincoln Wine Fest, which will be on April 29 in downtown Lincoln, Hilton spends at least 10 to 15 hours weekly on the annual event.

But she definitely doesn’t volunteer for the publicity. In fact, when asked why she volunteers so much for Lincoln events, Hilton told me twice not to make this column about her but about the wine fest.

I’m impressed, though, with Hilton’s commitment to the Rotary Club. That commitment also greatly benefits the Lincoln community since most Rotary Club projects are Lincoln-centric.

Lincoln Rotary members live by the club’s motto, “Service Above Self,” according to Hilton.

“Everything from significant scholarships, literacy programs, reading with third-graders, Bikes for Books which gives away a bike to every elementary school in the district three times a year to encourage reading to supporting all sorts of youth sports teams,” Hilton said. “The Salt Mine, FHA, we send three juniors to Rotary Leadership Camp for a life- altering experience, and we are on a mission to open a Senior Center. Many, many more local projects and we also have overseas projects that Rotary International sponsors.” 

The Lincoln Wine Fest is one of Joann’s favorite annual local events because it is “pure and simple fun.”

“What could be more fun than to stroll around lovely Lincoln into the Art League, into Buonarroti’s, into Beermann’s upstairs, into Fashion Fo Paws, into Lincoln Florists, into Dillian’s, into Country Harvest, into Lincoln Gifts and Souvenirs, into Lincoln Gold & Coin,” Hilton said, “into Sierra Hills Framing, into Anna’s Boutique, into Old Town Pizza, into Double Barrel Smokehouse, into Lincoln Gun Exchange, into Awful Annie’s, and finish off at our gem of a museum, Lincoln Archives. We love our historic downtown and are fortunate so many wonderful people live here and we want them all to come and ‘Discover the Charm.’”

Besides being fun, the Lincoln Wine Fest has a serious purpose.

“Our historic downtown is a treasure, and to some extent, under-appreciated within the regional area. We experience what is known as sales tax leakage, meaning our residents shop in surrounding areas instead of electing to shop downtown,” Hilton said. “The Downtown Lincoln Association (DLA) is very aware of this issue and one of the reasons Rotary partners with them on the Lincoln Wine Fest is to support the DLA in promoting our downtown.”

The active Rotarian wants to introduce Lincoln as well as other Placer County residents “to the wonderful and unique shops, restaurants and nonprofits in our downtown.”

And in doing that, Hilton explained, Lincoln’s sales tax revenues increase. That directly benefits residents by being able to provide more police, fire, library and other city services.

With those comments, it’s no surprise that Hilton is also on the city’s Economic Development Committee.

Hilton’s service to Rotary and Lincoln is recognized by many community residents.

“Joann is the epitome of what a volunteer should be to the city of Lincoln,” said Jeff Greenberg, who volunteered with her on the Lincoln Hills Senior Softball League.  “She’s doing marvelous things for Rotary. Joann was a very competitive softball player with her husband. They were very instrumental in helping the league. She was on the board, a manager and a player.”

Hilton’s love of baseball is also shown on this week’s page 14, where Hilton was pictured at last week’s Potters’ ribbon cutting.

If there’s a community event, Hilton will most likely be there promoting the city she loves to call home.

Lincoln is fortunate to have service clubs such as Rotary Club and members such as Joann Hilton, helping the community year-round.