ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Board members, volunteers and members of the community came out Thursday to thank one woman for her many years of service to Rockford.

After more than 18 years of helping Rockford families, Executive Director of the Rock River Valley Pantry Kim Adams-Bakke is retiring.

Adams-Bakke oversaw the transition of facilities, years of innovation and improvements to pantry operations, all in an effort to give to those in need and grow the community.

“You walk out of here every night knowing you made a difference, how many people can go to work and say that,” said Adams-Bakke.

A plaque dedicated to Adams-Bakke hangs in the pantry, punctuated with the quote “Never Underestimate The Difference You Make and The Lives You Touch.”

“We’ve heard some horrible stories, we’ve heard some tearful stories, we’ve heard some stories where people were like ‘I’m here because you helped me, and I’m here today to give back,” said Adams-Bakke.

The pantry was packed with people celebrating Adams-Bakke’s career. The party was held in a conference room recently dedicated to the retiring executive director.

“I’m looking forward to picking my own agenda and helping somewhere in the community as well,” said Adams-Bakke.

To donate to the Rock River Valley Pantry, click the link here.