Herald JournalHerald Journal, Aug. 2, 2004

Kielkucki selected as summer festival parade grand marshal

By Ryan Gueningsman

Winsted Summer Festival parade grand marshal Tony Kielkucki knows that “you get more out of volunteering than you put into it.”

Kielkucki has been involved with countless projects and ventures since relocating to the area from St. Paul more than 25 years ago.

“Our Realtor was one of the Ernhart boys, and he talked about a nice, small community called Winsted, and the rest is history,” Kielkucki said.

He was hired by Fr. Jack Brunner of Holy Trinity Schools to teach religion. Kielkucki eventually became dean of students, principal, and was the assistant coach for the football team for many years.

In 1995, Kielkucki decided to run for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and got elected to his first term in office in 1996. He served on many different committees, including education finance and education policy.

Kielkucki resigned his seat in the House of Representatives to accept the position of deputy secretary of state in November 2003.

He now has a regular job, with regular hours, he said. Kielkucki is responsible for overseeing elections in Minnesota, noting that this is, by far, the busiest time of the year for him, and also working with the updated election laws.

He also conducts seminars on behalf of the secretary of state’s office about election laws and training for election judges, etc.

“It’s been a really exciting challenge,” he said. “But, it’s an exciting job. The days fly by.”

Kielkucki said that Secretary of State Mary Kiffemeyer has been “a great lady to work for.”

Aside from coaching football for the Holy Trinity Trojans, Kielkucki, along with his wife, Lavon, and children Michael, Marcel, and Katie, have all been very active within the community of Winsted and at Holy Trinity.

Kielkucki has been involved with Winstock, singing in the church choir, the Knights of Columbus, as well as the Winsted Summer Festival itself.

“I’ll be flipping burgers this year again at the truck pull,” he said.

“To be honest, I was kind of surprised they picked me,” he said about being selected as the grand marshal.

“I’ve walked in that parade for many years. This year, it’s different – I don’t have to walk,” he said with a laugh.

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