Where would we be without volunteers?

Marshall’s Sounds of Summer took on some special meaning this year with the dedication of the Mrs. Whitney statue, which memorializes the woman who helped give the city of Marshall its name.

It was nice to see the city recognize a huge part of its past during the annual four-day festival as opposed to some arbitrary day in the middle of the week; it was a perfect tie-in. The Mrs. Whitney piece, which is located on the East College Drive curve that leads you into Marshall’s downtown, is just the seventh statue dedicated to a woman in the entire state of Minnesota.

The unveiling of the statue wrapped up what was a very eventful four-day run for Sounds of Summer, and major kudos go out to all those who helped organize it – from the ones who quietly set up tables and tents (and took them down), to those yellow vest-clad volunteers who worked to keep Saturday’s parade running smoothly.

Sounds of Summer, like any city-wide festival, truly underscores the importance of community volunteers; without them there wouldn’t be a Sounds of Summer. Without them, there wouldn’t be a Box Car Days, or a Bandwagon Days, or a Polska-Kielbasa Days, or 125th celebrations that are so vital in bringing communities together to celebrate their hometown and their heritage. Without volunteers, many small-town fire departments wouldn’t exist. Think about it.

Volunteers come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have two things in common: big hearts and a giving spirit. Don’t take them for granted.