Amy Bourke, a lifetime McCloud resident, will be leading McCloud’s 65th Annual Lumberjack Fiesta Parade this Saturday, July 28, at 11 a.m.

Amy Bourke, a lifetime McCloud resident, will be leading McCloud’s 65th Annual Lumberjack Fiesta Parade this Saturday, July 28, at 11 a.m.

“The McCloud Recreation Council selected Bourke because of the love and devotion she invests in the children of the community,” said Recreation and Parks Council President Patty Ballard-Faulkner.

A mother of two young daughters, she is the coordinator of McCloud Elementary's SAFE after school program for grades 1-8 and also serves as PTO President.

Bourke had a life-changing experience in 2010 when she suffered complete liver failure and almost died. Fortunately she received a new liver. All she knew was the donor was a 50-year old man who died from a closed head trauma. The community rallied behind her and her family with blood donations and several fundraisers that raised thousands of dollars to help with soaring medical costs.

As soon as she was on her feet she immediately became a staunch supporter and advocate in raising awareness of the need for organ and tissue donors. She organized the 1st Annual McCloud-style Donate Life Run/Walk in 2011 and the second in 2012 to encourage organ donations and raise funds for Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry enrollment campaign.

She has supported and attended all the blood drives in McCloud since her release from the hospital.

“Her courage, strength and commitment is an inspiration to us all,” said Faulkner.

Bourke has been interviewed for radio programs, television programs and news stories. She has appeared in several regional newspapers, and is currently the local Donate Life ambassador for the Mount Shasta DMV.

“I haven't been asked to speak to kids at high schools about the organ donor program yet,” she said. “I think the subject is too sensitive. But I continue to educate them when they ask... and they do ask a lot, which is good.”

The McCloud 65th Annual Lumberjack Fiesta, sponsored by the McCloud Rec Council, is scheduled for July 27 to 29 at Hoo Hoo Park in McCloud.

A complete schedule is on page B2 in this week’s paper.