April 23, 2017

Kathy Edwards, The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Parade Grand Marshal

The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Committee is pleased to announce that Kathy Edwards has been selected as Grand Marshal of the 2017 Maple Syrup Festival Parade. It will be held Sunday, April 30, at 2:30 pm on the main street (Wright Avenue) of Shepherd. Kathy is a sales representative for Advanced Specialty Rx, a Michigan-based long-term care pharmacy. She is also a realtor for Coldwell Bankers.

As a Shepherd High School graduate, Kathy remembers her high school days of serving the pancake and sausage dinners in classrooms all down the Middle School hallway. Refrigerators, coffee pots and sausage roasters were located in every classroom and visitors in line were directed to the closest open seats. Even then she was interested in seeing how quickly the meals could be served. It must be those memories that led Kathy to her present responsibility of Volunteer Coordinator; she schedules workers for preparing and serving the pancake and sausage dinners. This entails securing approximately 80 volunteers for each of 8 shifts through the weekend. The work begins in early February when letters are mailed to various groups throughout the mid-Michigan area ranging from hospital units to 4-H Clubs to ball teams. Some like to work the same shift year in and year out and some prefer different times…presenting Kathy with a puzzle to be completed by Friday at 3 pm when the first diners form the line. She is also there at the beginning of each shift to direct the workers to their jobs whether it be at the griddles, cutting sausage, serving the pancakes or filling syrup pitchers. Kathy is often seen extending her own personal, friendly touch by helping those in need to appropriate seating for their dinners.

Prior to her many years of scheduling the volunteers, and when there were many visitors camping in town, Kathy coordinated the Friday night Variety Show for the evening’s entertainment. Through all these events over the years she has enjoyed watching those involved step up and assume more leadership roles, carrying on the tradition for 59 years and counting… Her family is also doing this: son Kevin (the sausage coordinator) and Sarah are parents to Brady and Emmy, daughter Kelli and Carl are parents of Grace, and daughter Kara (Festival publicity) and Brent are parents of Jackson and Ellie. Thank you, Kathy and family, for all you have done for the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival.

Also published on Medium.