DONNELLSON – This year’s July 4th Parade in Donnellson will begin at 11 a.m. and will run the same route as always. The theme chosen is “Hometown Heroes” as we say a big “thank you” and honor our own hometown heroes who have aided and rushed to administer medical attention, fire protection and police safety to our community during this past year while in the middle of a pandemic.
We all faced isolation, inconveniences and changes in our daily schedules. Who would have thought that getting groceries would change so much? Some people were not able to see families as often as they would have liked or even at all. We were not able to patronize our local restaurants, experience summer vacations like we have in the past. Our schools shifted to hybrid, off site learning to keep our children safe while still enabling classes to continue. Sadly, most of us were unable to visit loved ones in the hospital who had fallen ill.
On the front lines of all of this was our local men and women that signed up for the opportunity to serve their community. There was not a day that went by that if you had a scanner, you heard dispatchers giving warnings to first responders about COVID positive households or individuals. For each house our first responders entered, they had to take extra safety precautions to protect themselves and others. Even with the added danger during this past year the EMTs, paramedics, volunteer firemen, law enforcement and other first responders and frontline workers heeded the calls for service without hesitation.
One man stood out in our community this year. It is with great honor that we announce this year’s Grand Marshall, Bill Young. Bill is the type of person that no matter the situation, is always willing to respond at a moment’s notice.
Along with his responsibilities as the Director of the Lee County Ambulance Service, Lee County Medical Examiner Investigator, Assistant Chief of the Donnellson Volunteer Fire Department, Central Lee School Board member, he is also a great family man. Bill and his wife Tina have three children that have grown the total family count to 13. This past year has been especially difficult for Bill as a first responder because of a compromised health situation at home. His wife Tina was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and during the pandemic, extra precautions across all of Bill’s responsibilities had to be taken. These extra precautions and dangers did not change the families’ view that our community needed first responders like him.
Bill was chosen as the Grand Marshall for the July 4th Parade because he went above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic. Bill has served our community for many years, almost 30 of those spent leading a team of EMTs and Paramedics in ownership of a family business and service as a volunteer fireman. He has been dedicated to service in this community by being a councilman and Mayor of Donnellson. Along with the many hats that he wears, one thing remains constant – he is a role model for many who want to be a genuinely good person. When asked to serve as the Grand Marshall, Bill asked that Donnellson honor everyone who faced fears of the unknowns during the past year and to remember those that we lost due to the pandemic.
The Donnellson July 4th Parade will be held at 11 a.m. from now on due to several requests from residents. We hope everyone will stay a little cooler at this earlier hour and hopefully it will allow for family activities all day long.
The American Legion will be serving maidrites, chips, cookies and drinks for a freewill donation in the Pilot Grove Savings Bank Community Room following the parade.
Registration will take place at the drive-up at the Pilot Grove Savings Bank on Main Street where you will be assigned a parade lineup spot. Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. There should be plenty of space to pull into the parking lot and then register in the shade under the drive-up.
Patriotic music will be provided by Dan the Man DJ and your announcer will be Kyle VanAusdall.
Please consider entering a float, riding a bike or golf cart, driving a decorated truck, car or tractor, etc. and help make this parade a special one that we can all enjoy. All are welcome. Let us honor those that helped get us through this past year so that we may all enjoy a small-town parade again because to say “we sure missed not having a parade last year” has been said too many times.