The Rutherford Report—Businessman is Quiet Community Benefactor

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“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

—Charles Dickens
Businessman is Quiet Community Benefactor
Rimforest resident Butch Baumann, 69, has done a lot over the years to support the mountain communities, but he’s always been reluctant to accept any recognition for the good deeds he’s done.

“I’m known as the quiet hero,” Baumann said. “I don’t go out there an campaign about what I’m doing. I just get the job done.”

In 1949, Baumann moved to Rimforest with his parents who had bought a grocery store in the community. His mother later worked as one of the first nurses at Santa Anita Hospital, which is today Mountain Communities Hospital.

At 18, Baumann landed a part-time job at Rim Forest Lumber while also working as a paid-call firefighter for the Crest Forest Fire Protection District. Later on, he bought full ownership of the lumber company, but he continued serving with the Fire District for more than 30 years and helped protect mountain communities during many major wildfires including the Panorama and Bear fires.

Baumann joined the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce after he bought the lumber company so he could network with other business owners in the community.

He also joined the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club and later helped start the Mountain Sunrise Rotary Club, which hosts morning meetings to accommodate local business people whose busy schedules preclude them from attending lunchtime gatherings.

As a Rotarian, Baumann helped coordinate the placement of a restroom at the picnic area at the top of Two Mile Road after the U.S. Forest Service indicated that the picnic area might be closed.

“I thought we really needed that picnic spot along Highway 18, so we partnered with the Forest Service and got some grants from Rotary to build the restrooms,” he said.

Over the years, Baumann has also helped a number of local boys complete Eagle Scout projects throughout the mountain communities.

He’s been a major contributor to Rebuilding Together—a nonprofit organization that provides materials and volunteers to help rebuild and restore the homes of less fortunate mountain residents.

When the Old Fire devastated mountain communities in 2003, Baumann set up lines of credit and sold supplies at cost to residents, many of whom didn’t have enough insurance money to pay for repairing all of the damage.

“I think the community, throughout the years, has been really good to Rim Forest Lumber, and helping out is just a way to give back to the community,” he said.
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