By Jennifer Gallus
HOWARD LAKE, MN - “The Bible says we’re supposed to help our neighbors,” said Don Danford of Howard Lake, which was enthusiastically echoed by Carol Sideen and Addie Mucha, all of whom are this year’s Good Neighbor Days grand marshals.
The three volunteer-oriented individuals received the Minneapolis Aquatennial Commodore’s Award during last year’s queen’s coronation, thus securing their position as grand marshals for the grande day parade that will take place Sunday, June 28 at 2 p.m. during Good Neighbor Days.
All three received a certificate and a medallion when they were presented the award.
They will be riding in style at the parade in a 1929 Lizzy, Model A. The vehicle is owned by a friend of Sideen’s, Pete Sergeant of Blaine.
Sharing their time and talents is what makes these three 2009 grand marshals tick.
“Community involvement and volunteerism is so important,” Sideen said.
Sideen found a quote that she particularly relates to which states, “Happiness lies in being involved in a process that is larger than you are.”
Mucha added that as people volunteer in their community, “you get to know the community, and you benefit from the community, which is really important in times of need.”
She added that when she was very ill last year, she couldn’t believe the support she was given from the community.
Sideen and Mucha have been designing the Good Neighbor Days T-shirts for the past eight years.
“Ours have always been colorful before they were always white,” Mucha said.
“We want them to be bright and cheery so everyone can wear them,” Sideen added.
Carol Hayner of Waverly makes the T-shirts each year.
T-shirts can be purchased for $7 from The Country Store, Shape & Style, Vital Fitness, Howard Lake Drug, and the Community Education office at the middle school.
Shirts can also be purchased while signing up for the One-Block Run which will take place Saturday, June 25 at 10 a.m.
Regarding the Good Neighbor Days celebration, Danford is looking forward to, “the whole shebang.”
“It’s just nice to get together. Just seeing everyone in town is fun,” Danford said.
Sideen added, “It’s just such a fun community event.”
They practice what they preach
Danford, Sideen, and Mucha each have a laundry list of organizations and groups that they volunteer for, both past and present, which are listed below.
Danford: Church officer and committees; last supper director and actor, Love, Inc.; PACT 10 advisory committee; city council committees; Meals on Wheels; volunteer construction projects; historical society; and restoration committee.
Sideen: Church officer and committees; school committees; One Block Run coordinator; collected socks for schools in Texas; READ dog coordinator and facilitator; Lutheran Brotherhood local board; foster parent for Wright County; PACT 10 volunteer; Teacher’s Association officer; book donations for school library; therapy dog handler; service group for therapy dogs; mentor for high school students; and exchange student parent for eight boys from Europe.
Mucha: Friends of the Howard Lake Library; concessions stand during sports events; One Block Run coordinator; Good Neighbor Days committee; church activities; school committees and activities; Teacher’s Association officer; airplane toss organizer; Girl Scout camp; and Wright County Fair worker.
Danford, Sideen, and Mucha also wanted to mention that local organizations can always use more volunteers such as the library, schools, churches, Lions Club, Legion, nursing home, fire department, Good Neighbor Days committee, royalty committee, people to run the Good Neighbor Days activities, Wright County Community Action, hospice volunteers, Wright County drivers, senior citizen activities, and LOVE, Inc.
Mucha encourages everyone to, “get out there and share a little of your life with people. It’s brought so much to our lives it doesn’t matter what you do, there’s so many options.”