Dear Editor,

Working together for months leading up to the 59th Black Walnut Festival, innumerable volunteers across our community showcased Stockton at its best.

All of us owe appreciation to the many Stockton Lake Sertoma Club volunteers who organized and managed our beautiful festival: arranging for all of the entertainment, the parade, venders, logistics, advertisements, security and sanitation services, the decorations — corn stalks, squash and pumpkins, potted mums, hay bales, lovely signs — including services I don’t know about. Thank you, Sertoma Club volunteers.

Thanks to Mayor Norell, our aldermen, ground maintenance crew, and park board for the beautiful, clean and manicured park venue, including the upgraded electrical service and lighting. Thanks to our local law enforcement officers for keeping us safe.

Thanks to our Stockton R-I band director, Marvin Manring, for organizing a bumper crop of 26 high school and middle school bands and to all of the schools who committed resources to send them to perform in our parade. Thanks to all of the band members for marching one mile in uniform in the heat to perform for us.

Thanks to all of the parade entries, each representing an investment, and in some cases, sacrifice, to make this public event possible and more enjoyable.

Thanks to the wide range of venders, displayers, and entertainers for increasing our horizons, for teaching us more about the bounty of our community.

Thanks to festival goers for choosing to recycle so many beverage bottles and cans during this first year of recycling services in the park during the festival. Thanks to the Stockton Community Foundation for the grant and to the many donors who made it possible for our Stockton United Methodist Go Green Team to invest in 20 bright blue recycling units which dotted the park. Thanks to the 19 volunteers who collected the recycling and removed all the plastic bottle caps and to the city crew for graciously hauling the many bags to the city recycling center.

Together, we showcased our community as an outstanding place to live. Well done, Stockton!

Cheryl Y. Marcum

Stockton United Methodist Creation Care Ministry Leader

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