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Bennett retiring from Logger Days

| December 12, 2006 11:00 PM

By GWEN ALBERS Western News Reporter

Jerry Bennett is ready to step down as the organizer for Libby's Logger Days.

A replacement is needed.

"I'm tired," said Bennett, owner of JMF Services in Libby. "It takes a tremendous amount of time, and not just the event itself. I've pretty much done the fundraising and stuff."

Don Smart, president of Kootenai Kiwanis, which sponsors the annual four-day summer festival, is sorry to see Bennett go.

"We'll greatly miss him, but will still consult with him," Smart said. "I don't think he'll be totally gone."

Logger Days celebrates Libby's historic timber industry with food, a parade, crafts, a street dance and logging competitions, including sawing and ax throwing.

Festivities have traditionally kicked off with a water fight staged by Libby Volunteer Fire Department. Most events are held in the downtown around the Memorial Center.

Bennett has overseen Logger Days, including logging events like "Bull and Bullette of the Woods," "Jack and Jill Race," "Ma and Pa Relay," "Donut Stacker," "Log Loading" and more, for nearly a decade.

The competitions are run by professional loggers like Libby's Paul Tisher, Paul Brown and Junior Crismore.

"It takes quite an effort," Bennett said. "We get everything there - the equipment, all the wood - it's waiting there for them."

Resigning was a tough decision for Bennett because he doesn't want to see Logger Days become a thing of the past.

"The reason I stayed involved is I don't want to see the event go away," he said. "It's part of our heritage and we've lost so much. Logging is down to a minimum, and that's what built this town. I don't think people should forget."

Smart knows it will be tough to find a replacement for Bennett.

"He's a wonderful leader," Smart said. "I don't know if we can find another person to take his place. Otherwise it will not be the same Logger Days. It probably won't be as terrific."

Anyone interested should call Smart at 293-1175.00040000000B00000002017CD100050000000B00000002017CD00006000000660000000210AAE30ACC!FFFFAA0CC00000-10-! CC!CC10AE30ACC!FFFFAA0CA00000-10-! CC!CC0007000000D0000000020AA-AC10-A2440,No Style0100C!CCA00000CB00000-AC10-A2440,Body Copy, Left0100C!00080000012F0000000240,Geneva40,4030-1040,Times New Roman40,407DA0-1000090000001B000000022132C442C2132C442C000A0000001B000000022132C442C2132C442C000B00000005000000020-000C0000001E000000012221C100000150000010C1000F00000026000000005004C0-10-     AACAA-!-!CC!-00130000005E00000000D791F8CB1C1D1E1F7F1B024,-.Ppi)()( ….FFFFAA0FFFFAA046700000002800000000d$$$NAe'uo"46710000015000000000e8No Style

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