Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 21, 2004

Good neighbors, good friends – now grand marshals

By Darla Swanson

This year’s grand marshals in the Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days parade are a couple of locals who have been good friends for nearly 30 years.

Jeanne Brose and Mary Jo Painschab – to no one’s surprise, but their own – were last year’s commodore award recipients, and thence this year’s grand marshals.

Both were awarded the Aquatennial commodore award last year, which is given to community members in recognition for their community and volunteer work.

This automatically earned them the responsibility of acting as grand marshals for this year’s parade.

Both women expressed their surprise at being awarded the commodore award as well as being grand marshals.

Their volunteer work in the community (especially within the public schools) is well known, and also appears to come from an attitude of get to, rather than have to.

And they don’t take the glory for the work accomplished, calling themselves “background people.”

Brose said “So many people pitch in without even being asked. Volunteering isn’t hard when you love the community and believe in what you’re doing.”

Painschab chimed in with “The things that I’ve done, I would have never been able to do alone.”

Considering that both Brose and Painschab hold down full-time jobs and manage to juggle a family and volunteer work, it comes as no surprise that they are strong advocates of “getting involved.”

They encourage the younger generation of parents to step up to the plate and do their part in supporting school and community activities.

Brose emphasized that there is always a need for more volunteers. “Just to get fresh ideas and younger legs,” she said, adding, “There’s nothing more rewarding either, than helping.”

The two don’t live next door to each other, but they certainly emulate what it means to be a good neighbor.

Serving on numerous committees together and remaining heavily involved with school and community based projects has given them a lot to share.

They’ve bowled together as couples with their husbands, had children in the same classroom, and worked on the same volunteer projects. And even though their children are almost all grown, they have not backed down from offering their volunteer services.

“We’re not winding down now that (the) kids are growing, just changing directions,” Painschab said.

Brose lives in rural Howard Lake with her husband, Keith. With all three of her children out of high school, she still keeps herself involved in community volunteer work.

She has helped with after prom parties since the early ‘90s, still does football concession stands, and acts as treasurer for the Good Neighbor Days committee, among other things.

An upcoming event that Brose has been working on is helping put together a photo gallery for the Good Neighbor Days past royalty. The photos will be displayed in the new city office building.

Painschab lives in Howard Lake with her husband, Rob, and daughter, Samantha. Her four other children are grown.

Painschab is also involved in after prom party planning (which takes a whole year to plan), has been active in Junior Olympic volleyball, coaching teams when her kids were younger, vacation Bible school, Sunday school, and Friends of the Library.

A new committee that Painschab is involved with is the Laker Pride Committee, which was formed to promote the school.

One of the functions of the committee is to distribute a monthly calendar to the community in an effort to communicate “what’s going on.”

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