By JUDITH O. ETZEL Contributing writer
A local woman who has “a passion for helping others” has been chosen as the 2017 Citizen of the Year by the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce. Urania “Rainy” Linn, a well-known Venango County Fair enthusiast who served several years as Venango County Extension Service director, was selected for the annual award. The award is given each year by the chamber to an individual who consistently shows leadership through extensive and diverse participation in volunteerism and service to community. Nominated by a number of local organizations and individuals, Linn has “a passion for helping others,” said the Venango County Fair Board. She has held several positions on that board and is credited as one of the original founders of the county 4-H Fair started in 1959. “Rainy has touched the lives of hundreds of children, teens and families over the years by her dedication and mentoring their development,” noted the board. Longtime fair leader Linn named Citizen of Year. “… (We) nominate Rainy Linn based on her ethics, her unmatched decades of educating this county’s youth members, as well as her uncanny personality.” In a nomination letter sub- mitted by Megan Nye, Linn was described as “the epitome of an outstanding citizen.” “… Rainy Linn stands out above the rest, with a kind heart, a keen ear, a love of teaching and sharing the knowledge that she has acquired over her many years,” wrote Nye. “… She works harder, longer hours than anyone, with a work ethic that can rival anyone I know.” Linn was also lauded for her longtime role in the Venango County Historical Society as well as her extensive volunteer work in the community. Linn, who earned a B.S. degree in home economics from Juniata College, was appointed to the Extension Service as home economist in 1956. When she retired in 1995, a building at the 4-H fairgrounds was named in her honor. Her career was marked by numerous professional awards, including the Distinguished Service Award in 1968 from the National Association of Extension Home Economists. In 2002, she was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame as part of the organization’s 100th anniversary. The Citizen of the Year award will be presented at the chamber’s annual awards banquet set for Feb. 21 at Cross Creek Resort. Reservations may be made by contacting the chamber office at 676-8521 or online at venangochamber.org.