ZOZOBRA TO BURN IN SF TONIGHT
Popular annual event couldn’t happen without volunteers such as Lynette Kennard.
Editor’s note: Today, the Journal continues “The Good News File,” a series of uplifting stories in partnership with KOAT-TV and KKOB Radio. The Journal will publish a “Good News” feature the first Friday of the month, KOAT-TV will present its feature each second Friday and KKOB each third Friday.
The burning of Zozobra, one of New Mexico’s most popular annual events, couldn’t exist without the hundreds of hours volunteers commit each year.
One of those longtime volunteers is Santa Fe resident Lynette Kennard.
Old Man Gloom will burn Friday at dusk in Santa Fe at Fort Marcy Park, continuing a 97-year tradition. The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe organizes the event annually and Kennard has volunteered with the nonprofit group for 12 years now.
Ryan Miller, president of the Santa Fe Kiwanis, said Kennard is an amazing volunteer.
“We all bring a little something to the table but Lynette goes above and beyond in everything she does,” Miller said. “Lynette’s detail-oriented ‘get-it-done’ attitude makes our club and the community better for everyone. We all aspire to be a volunteer like her!”
Kiwanis is a service organization founded in 1915 to raise money that is used to help children in the United States and around the world. Local clubs focus on issues in their own communities but also work globally.
Kennard is responsible
for ticket sales to Zozobra, which attracts thousands of attendees. She distributes the tickets and works with the third-party ticket vendors. But that isn’t all she does for Kiwanis.
Kennard is the sponsor for the Key Club at Santa Fe High, which is the junior equivalent of the Kiwanis Club, and the co-treasurer for the Santa Fe Downtown Kiwanis Foundation that focuses on international assistance.
She has taken the lead locally for Kiwanis’ The Eliminate Project that aims to get rid of maternal and neonatal tetanus in countries that do not have access to vaccines. The club has partnered with UNICEF. Kennard said more recently the club has used this same partnership to help administer COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
Kennard works full time for the state auditor’s office as a CPA but said volunteering remains an important goal in her life. When she moved to Santa Fe from Los Alamos 13 years ago to work for a private CPA firm, her employers encouraged all employees to volunteer or get involved with the community.
After doing some research, she thought Kiwanis Club would be a good fit. She volunteered at the Zozobra selling merchandise and knew she had found her place.
“I love the mission (of Kiwanis),” she said. “We are serving children of the world. How could you do anything more important than that?”