Cherne named parade grand marshal

ROCK – The grand marshal of the Rock Labor Day Parade is among three generations which helped out at Saturday’s annual fundraiser made possible by a group of dedicated volunteers.

Dorothy Cherne, 87, of Rock, was honored as the grand marshal during the Labor Day Celebration. The fall event has been sponsored by the Rock Lions Club since 1943.

This year, the Rock American Legion and Auxiliary joined forces with the Lions to carry on the tradition which helps raise funds that go back into the community.

Cherne was named grand marshal for her service to the community. She has been an auxiliary member for 35 years, a local Lions member for five years, and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church for 33 years where she also sings in the choir.

“My mother and dad started the legion post and auxiliary in Chicago,” she noted.

Though Cherne is not a native of the area, she and her late husband, Wilbert, moved here from Chicago more than three decades ago. Cherne was a supervisor for IBM and her husband was an electrician for AT&T.

“We were coming here for 20 years before we retired here,” she said. “We liked it so well we decided to retire here.”

Cherne said she enjoys the community including members of the local organizations and the churches.

“I love the people. I love all the people here,” she said, grateful for being named the parade’s grand marshal. “It’s real exciting. I love it. I was waving until my hands were tired.”

Cherne and Wilbert are parents of three children – Alan of Chicago, Michael of Texas, and Kathy of Rock.

Cherne’s daughter, Kathy Stams, is president of the Legion Auxiliary and secretary of the Lions Club including this year’s parade organizer. Kathy’s husband, John Stams, is commander of the Legion and treasurer of the Lions Club.

A third generation of the Cherne family who also helped out at this year’s local celebration is Athena Stroud of Colorado Springs, Colo. She volunteered to do the face painting.

People from throughout the area participated in raffles and games along the midway which also featured music, food and refreshments. Saturday’s rain held off during the parade and shortly after to allow people to take part in the festivities.

The first place float in the parade was earned by the Pirate Ship entry earning $100. Second place prize of $50 went to the Herb’s Bar float. Third place and a $25 prize went to the Cancer Care float.

In the cars and trucks category, the Patriot Guard Riders were voted first place earning $50 for the motorcycle club. Second place prize of $25 went to Tom Demeuse’s classic pickup and camper.

Boilermakers Local 169 took first place in the parade walkers and marchers category earning $50. Boy Scout Pack 471 of Gladstone received $25 for second place.

A group of three horse riders from the area earned $50 in the miscellaneous category.

The day’s events concluded with a raffle drawing of more than $2,000 in cash and prizes.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, jlancour@dailypress.net