June 13, 2014

Citizen of the Week: Rick Klein

— Rick Klein is no stranger to serving the community.

Klein started serving the Dalton area when he began working with United Way of Northwest Georgia in 1987. During his time there, he was involved in many aspects of United Way including fundraising, community investments, finance and as board chair. His work in community investments led him to volunteer with the Family Support Council.

About 20 years ago, Klein served on the Infant Preschool Council board for the Family Support Council, later going on to serve as president of the Board of Directors in 2000 and 2001. Under his leadership, the council opened Oak Haven Second Chance Home, a group home for teen mothers and their children.

“Rick’s dedication to a cause doesn’t end when he leaves a board,” said Holly Rice, executive director of the Family Support Council. “He has continued to be available to assist us with fundraisers and to cook breakfast each year at our various camps.”

Most recently, Klein prepared breakfast for Camp LePapillon, the Family Support Council’s annual camp for pregnant and parenting teens and their children. As he has done for the past 18 years, Klein put on an apron and prepared pancakes and biscuits for campers.

“He not only cooks a feast, but he also provides the food,” said Rice.

“Although I always enjoy his pancakes, homemade pies and ‘Yankee biscuits,’ my favorite memory of Rick includes tights,” continued Rice. “Many years ago, I saw him go above and beyond the call of duty when he and another board member, Larry Duffie, dressed in tights in an attempt to look like elves at a Christmas party for teen parents and their children. A six-and-a-half-foot-tall man wearing tights is a memorable sight — and a scary one for some of the small children,” she laughed.

“It speaks volumes about how far Rick will go to bring a little joy to the children he seeks to help.”

For his boundless efforts to help others and his decades of community service, The Daily Citizen names Rick Klein Citizen of the Week.