By Sterling McGinn
In December 2022, the Luce County LINK named former interim coordinator Pam Juarez as the official coordinator of the Newberry staple known as the LINK.
The organization, located across from Rahilly’s IGA on West Helen Street in Newberry, is the hub of programs and activities geared toward youth and the community.
Although she has only had her new position for a couple of weeks, Juarez has been involved with the organization for over 10 years and is familiar with the day-to-day operations of the organization.
A native of Anderson, Indiana, Juarez had connections to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula after visiting her family members in the U.P. during her youth. “One of my cousins asked me to come up one time when I was older, and I fell in love with the place,” Juarez said.
Her draw to becoming a part of the LINK came after Juarez and her family relocated to Newberry in 2012.
“When we first came here, we started out in a hotel,” she said. Her son started visiting the LINK when it was directed by Mary Archambeau.
“We were able to get into a house, and the LINK helped us furnish our home. That’s what started us out getting involved with the LINK.”
Juarez served as a volunteer and a member of the LINK board until the director position became available. Following Mary Archambeau’s retirement, the coordinator’s position was held by Kristina Duflo and later, Travis Sumbera.
“After everything that Mary did for me, I wanted to be able to give back for both the kids and the community,” she said.
“I enjoy doing this,” Juarez said. “I enjoy working with the kids and the community. It’s a very small knit community, but we work very well together.”
In line with past traditions, Juarez plans to schedule a Valentine’s Day dance, complete with a king, queen, prince, and princess, which the kids look forward to.
Juarez is also hoping to hold more bake sales and find more activities for the kids. “We have been working with 4-H and they have been coming in every Friday,” she said.
The LINK just finished helping with the Goodfellows 2022 distribution and helps with PetPals once a month for their pet food distribution.
The LINK has also been hosting a community meal Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m., which is open to anyone in the community.
Juarez will be bringing new ideas and programs to the LINK and is always looking for additional volunteers. The LINK holds monthly meetings at 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month and are open to the public.
Juarez can be reached at the LINK at (906) 293-3729.