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Princess lives for community

Kirsten Pitzer volunteers with church, schools, Sandy Action Center

Kirsten Pitzer has a Sandy Mountain Festival Parade memory that’s beyond good.

It’s bionic.

When Pitzer was a little girl, actress Lindsay Wagner (television’s Bionic Woman) rode on a float in the parade. Pitzer jokes that the encounter is still “one of the highlights of my life.”

“My dad grabbed me and stopped the parade so I could shake her hand,” Pitzer recalled. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: HEATHER FITCH PHOTOGRAPHY - Princess Kirsten Pitzer

Now, it’s Pitzer’s turn to be a celebrity. She was selected to serve as one of four princesses on the Sandy Mountain Festival Five Generation Court, which recognizes and honors the civic commitments of five notable Sandy women. Special attention is given to a nominee’s volunteer involvements and their community roots.

A native Sandyite, Pitzer graduated from Sandy High School. After living in Alaska, she returned to the area in 2000, and now resides on her family’s farm with her husband, Dave Pitzer, Jr., their six children and her 93-year-old grandmother, Roberta Kennedy.

The Pitzers are a blended family: 22-year-old Shelby, 18-year-old Jillian and 17-year-old Everett Davis are from Kirsten Pitzer’s prior marriage, while 16-year-old David and 19-year-old Brittany Pitzer are from Dave Pitzer’s previous marriage. Together, the Pitzers also have an adopted child, 8-year-old Jeremy Pitzer.

Having such a large family has led to a few humorous moments. When the Pitzers moved into their farmhouse, it was 2,000 square feet and all their children needed to share one single, solitary bathroom; it quickly became apparent some renovations were needed, Pitzer said. And at one point, Pitzer drove a 12-person van, which was often filled with not just her children but her children’s friends, too. She likened the van to “a clown car.”

Despite raising her family, Pitzer isn’t too busy to volunteer in the community. She is active with her church, Living Word Fellowship in Orient, and is involved with the church’s music and kitchen ministries. She also serves on the board of directors at the Sandy Community Action Center. Pitzer said she was drawn to the organization because of its ability to reach Oregon Trail School District families in need.

“We do have a lot of hunger in our town,” Pitzer said. “There’s a stigma attached to that, and we want to work through that and get people fed.”

She also gives her time at Firwood Elementary School and Sandy High School. At SHS, she assists with the booster club, the student store and fundraises for the Senior All-Night Party.

“That’s a thing I’m really passionate about, more parent involvement, especially at the high school level,” she said. “It’s important to see people from the community and the people that advocate for the students in the high school.”

The Sandy Mountain Festival Parade still occupies a special spot in her heart. Her family has their parade traditions, she said, including putting out their chairs early along the parade route to save a good spot and loading up on tacos to eat while watching the event.

This year will be a little different, of course.

“Now that I’m in the parade, I’ll get to wave at a lot of people I know,” she said.