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CELEBRATE COMMEMORATE MEMORIAL DAY 2009
Co Chairs: Jane Shaffer, Sessler Companies, 315-539-3353
Dave Duprey, Waterloo Village Deputy Mayor, 315-539-9010
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO - This weekend, thousands of people will come to Waterloo to Celebrate the freedom we enjoy in America and commemorate the sacrifices of the men and women in the military who keep our country strong. Celebrate Commemorate is 10 years old this year. The community celebration was meant to be a way to welcome in the millennium, but committee members would not let it die. Co chairs Jane Shaffer and Dave Duprey have headed the 25-plus member committee since the outset.
“We are a strongly patriotic community,” Jane Shaffer explained. “We enjoy getting together to celebrate the freedoms we have and to thank our military.” She pointed out that most of the events at the family-friendly event are free, thanks to the generosity of community businesses and organizations who sponsor the activities.
Shaffer and Duprey oversee a diverse group of men and women who meet throughout the year and bring their expertise to organize the many facets of the weekend: Molly Snyder and Kevin Benjamin who head the troops of Boy Scouts who provide security at Lafayette Park; Mary Ann Sutliffe and Anne Cassim who organize the arts and crafts festival that draws more than 100 crafters to show and sell their wares; Don Eichenhofer, known as the transportation czar, who organizes the horse and wagon tours, boat tours, and train rides; Beatrice Contant who conducts the historical tour.
Bill and Mike Sigrist and Chris Shaffer help set up for the activities in Lafayette Park where Angela Jones and her Snapettes create games for Kids Korner, Walt Bennett and Margaret Eichenhofer organize the entertainment – bands that perform a variety of country, rock and children’s music each hour throughout the weekend. and members of the Lions Club, Rotary and Interact serve strawberry sundaes, hamburgers and hot dogs, and chicken barbecue. John Stoughtenger and Mike Sigrist organize the food vendors, Ellen Hughes manages the merchandising booth, Jane Shaffer heads the pizza eating contest and Kathy Peters orders teams of volunteers to help out where needed,
Skip and Cindy Campbell set up the fairgrounds for the Nik and the Nice Guys concert and fireworks on Saturday night.
Bev and Barb Good and Lou and Alice LeBrun have organized Sunday’s Wheels On Main Street car show. This year, they decided to expand the show with a car parts swap meet. The Lions Club sponsors the annual Woodie rally that attracts owners of cars manufactured in Waterloo. Jack Sutliffe heads the sanctioned 5K race, signing up more than 100 runners annually and passing out T-shirts and medals to the winners.
Judi Byndas and her committee design and stitch the quilt that is raffled off each year. This year’s creation is a log cabin pattern honoring Abe Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Patsy Amidon heads the essay committee that this year judged nearly 400 essays. Kaaren Gerlach and Doris Wolf organize the Saturday parade that will have more than 50 units. Police Chief Doyle Marquart keeps traffic flowing on Main Street.
Caren Cleaveland has organized Living History Day on Saturday, which will feature Civil War reenactors and interpreters gathered on Oak Island with President Abe Lincoln (John Baylis), Confederate General Robert E. Lee (Richard Crozier) and Union General Ulysses S. Grant (Peter McDonald), a Civil War Ball and tours of the American Civil War Memorial. Tanya Warren conducts tours of the National Memorial Day Museum that explains the history of Memorial Day and this year will feature a group of items related to Abraham Lincoln.
Just to be sure no loose ends go untended, Kathy Sigrist, Judy Young and Kim Pfeiffer created the “Whatever Needs Done” committee.
The American and Legion organize the solemn observance of Memorial Day on May 30, continuing to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers as the village has annually since 1866.
When they noticed that people often came to Waterloo on the federal Monday holiday, thinking it was Memorial Day, Chris Shafer and Clark Besley and their committee organized a motorcycle rally for that date.
Each year something new is added. This year it is an award presented by the Waterloo Library and Historical Society to someone who makes Waterloo a better place. The award will be presented on Friday (May 23rd) at 4:30 pm.
“The weekend is such a success because we all work together on a common goal,” said Duprey.