Jenny Baldowski is mom to more than just her two sons.
Her involvement with Scouting programs, wounded warriors and Special Olympics were cited as just a few of the reasons Baldowski was honored Thursday as the 2012 Harlem Woman’s Club Citizen of the Year.
Baldowski, a graduate of North Augusta High School and USC Aiken, was joined by her adult sons Neal and Phillip at the presentation and expressed surprise and gratitude for the recognition.
“I just really appreciate it. I don’t do the things that I do for any recognition. I do it because I feel like that’s what God’s meant for me to do,” said Baldowski. “I’ve been very blessed with a great family, friends and a community here in Harlem. I’ve just been totally blessed.”
She is active in Harlem, from leading community cleanup days to participating in the Oliver Hardy Festival.
Baldowski’s youngest son, Phillip, teaches archery to service members at Fort Gordon and she is a coach alongside him.
“As we were growing programs with Champions Made From Adversity for the service members out at Fort Gordon, we talked about archery and starting an archery program,” said Jeff Snover, the program’s co-founder and chairman. “We knew right then they were the ones to turn to. Phillip is the coach out there working with the service members, and Jenny is the mom. To find somebody who not only opens their door but opens their heart to service members the way she has, means all the world to those guys out there.”
Baldowski enjoys the dual designation.
“I am known as mom even though I am a level-three (archery) coach as well,” said Baldowski, laughing.
She was appreciative of the opportunity Snover and his group gave her to work with service members.
“That’s the least we can do after all their sacrifices they’ve done for us and for our freedoms,” she said.
Lorrie Griffin has known Baldowski since her boys were young, and they have remained close throughout the years through Scouting, swimming and other events. She thanked the club for honoring her friend.
“They’re family true and true, and I cannot honor a woman more and thank y’all for taking the opportunity to give her this award that she truly deserves,” Griffin said.
Neal Baldowski has seen his mom’s giving ways firsthand his whole life.
“It’s a huge honor and she’s definitely deserving of it,” Neal said. “Anything that I’ve ever wanted to pursue, she’s always been behind me and supported me and even went into business with me to help support me.”