Being selected the grand marshal for the 2011 West Linn Old Time Fair parade was an honor and a privilege. I feel my participation is a reflection of what occurs throughout West Linn as a community that works together to make West Linn a special place to live. The West Linn Old Time Fair speaks of hundreds of people who give freely as volunteers to make such an event successful such as:

* Mike and Jill Briney, who coordinated the parade;

* My wife, Peggy, who supports my volunteer work and her PEO projects;

* Scout troop 149 - including their parent involvement - who assisted with the parade;

* Fair vendors and the West Linn Lions and Riverview Lions with their pancakes, burgers and Lion paws to support their community service projects;

* Lutheran Pie Ladies;

* Tom Loun, emcee for the parade;

* Neighbors who, overnight, agreed to help;

* Kevin, Jacque and Maverick with their boat float for Safe Boating for Kids;

* Roger Shepherd and Alma Coston promoting for Bolton Daze on July 30 and the West Linn 100 year centennial in 2013;

* Our city council who gave their time to support community improvements;

* West Linn fair princesses and queen who were constantly giving of time and energy to the event;

* Alice Richmond, 'West Linn cheerleader,' and the grand marshal for 2010 was volunteering at the fair getting others involved;

* Friends of McLean House workers who provide a place of solace and memories;

* Cheryl and John Borden who craft McLean Park's garden with weekly hours;

* Mary S. Young and Maddax Woods volunteers who work weekly improving these parks.

The participants of the adult community center generate thousands of volunteer hours yearly. The Friends of the Library make the library our literary treasure. The above just touches those in our community who give unselfishly from our schools, churches, community services and special groups.

(Our city has a) growing garden of volunteers - from the West Linn High School students, families and staff who are helping others as part of the school program.

Watch in the future to see our youth getting involved here in West Linn and, eventually, beyond.

People ask me why I volunteer and my answer is that giving even a little bit back knits our neighborhoods and our community into a friendly, social and enjoyable place to live.

I think people are willing to give time and resources and working as a team gives a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. So here's to all of you who reach out to volunteer in West Linn.

A special thank you from the 2011 grand marshal of the Old Time Fair parade. You are simply wonderful!

Continue to keep up the good work and oh, the rain was a test. And you passed.

Mike Watters is a West Linn

resident who served as grand marshal in the West Linn Old Time Fair parade on Saturday.

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