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A Vandalia couple who has helped numerous individuals in the community for at least a quarter of a century are being honored by the Vandalia Lions Club this Thursday evening.
The Lions have chosen Glen “Whitey” and Carolyn Daniels to serve as grand marshals for their annual Halloween parade.
The Lions’ 70th annual Halloween parade begins at 7 p.m. at Seventh and Gallatin streets, and travels east on Gallatin to Third Street.
Participant registration and lineup begins at 5 p.m., with local clubs, churches, schools, organizations and individuals invited to have parade entries.
The following prizes will be awarded:
• Built floats – First prize, Ponderosa, KFC/Taco Bell and Ramada Inn Award, $350; second, Midland States Bank Award, $250; third, Bluff Equipment Award, $175; fourth, Lisa Burnam, Patrick Maag and Melanie Bowles-Edward Jones Investment Award, $125; fifth, Liberty Shops on Gallatin Street Award, $100; and sixth, Walmart Award, $100.
• Walking Groups – First prize, First National Bank of Vandalia Award, $300; second, Dennis Ehrat/Brock Brannon-Investment Centers of America Award, $150; third, Sloan Equipment Award, $125; fourth, Midwest Tractor Sales Inc. Award, $100; fifth, Luallen, Cearlock, Barth and Burnam Ltd. Award, $100; and sixth, Double D Plumbing and Heating Award, $100.
The Lions chose Glen and Carolyn Daniels to serve as grand marshals for the parade due to their long-running service to the community.
Glen Daniels is a retired engineer out of Engineers’ Local 520 in Mitchell.
Upon retiring, he decided to run for the Fayette County Board, and he is in his 12th year of serving residents of the board’s District 3. He’s running for a fourth term this November.
He said that he decided to run for a county board seat, “Because I thought that maybe I could do something for the county … and I think that I still can.”
The first time he ran, Carolyn remembered, “He won by the flip of a coin.” He won the seat on a coin toss after he and Dennis Graumenz received the same number of votes.
During his tenure on the county board, Glen has served on its purchasing and printing, road and bridge, building and grounds, solid waste and subdivision committees.
But it is through his work with the United Methodist Men at the First United Methodist Church in Vandalia that Glen is probably most well known.
He has been a member of the men’s organization at the church for about 25 years, and has served as its president.
It was Glen who started the program which is providing winter coats and shoes for children in need.
“He was fishing and he decided that he could buy coats and shoes with the fish,” Carolyn said, referring to the Methodist Men’s fish fry that her husband started.
“We started out buying five coats, and we’re now buying close to 400,” Glen said. “We’re serving 13 schools.
“People have no idea what we buy,” he said, noting that Carolyn is buying the coats throughout the year, whenever she can get them on discounted prices.
Carolyn is most well-known for her work with SAFE, the sexual assault and families emergencies clinic that serves this region.
She worked with SAFE for about 22 years, and that service has include working as the clinic’s director for a decade.
“We work for, serve as an advocate for victims of sexual abuse and assault, doing such things as meeting with them at the hospital after an assault and going with them through the court system,” she said.
Carolyn is also involved in the Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church, serves on the local Salvation Army board and is involved in the prison ministry at Vandalia Correctional Center.
She also is involved in the Fayette County Hospital Auxiliary, with that involvement including serving as a Pink Lady volunteer at the hospital.
Carolyn also works at the Habitat for Humanity resale shop on Gallatin Street in Vandalia, and she and Glen both were charter members of the HFH Board of Directors.
They, obviously, believe in individuals serving their community through volunteer work.
“It’s for the kids,” Glen said about his work with the Methodist Men.
Carolyn adds, “I think everybody needs to pay back to the community, to give back for the things that they have been able to receive and to do what they can to improve the lives of others.
“I think that this is something that we need to pass along to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Carolyn said, explaining that the Daniels have done that with their family.