FULTON, Ill. — Bob and Trudy Feldt have been dedicated to the city of Fulton for decades.
Whether it be Trudy's 27-year commitment to teaching the children of the community at the River Bend School District, Bob's 33-year career with the Fulton-born company, Agri-King Inc., or their endless commitment to improving the city through volunteering, it is clear the two live and breathe Fulton, which is why they earned the honor of being named Grand Marshals for the 2014 Dutch Days Festival parade.
"They exemplify what being a grand marshal is," Dutch Days committee chairwoman Barb Mask said.
Growing up in Garden Plain, Ill., Bob is familiar with the area and the culture of Fulton, and although Trudy originated from Waupun, Wis., she too understands the deep Dutch heritage and tight-knit community that Fulton represents.
She admits that many of the features that she knows and loves of Fulton are similar to those of Waupun and her childhood.
"There are many ties between Waupun and Fulton," Trudy said. "There is a deep Dutch heritage there as well, so it's been something I've always been surrounded by."
Not only did she grow up in a Dutch community and now lives in a Dutch community, both she, Bob and their two children attended college in Pella and they often frequent Pella's Tulip Time Festival, which is also based on a rich Dutch heritage.
So it seems fitting that the two would be selected to represent the city in its 40th annual Dutch Days Festival.
But, it isn't because of those Dutch roots that Mask and her fellow committee members thought the Feldts would be a good fit. It's because of their selflessness and dedication to the community.
"Many times the committee will select a name that is submitted by someone else. Anyone can submit a name but sometimes we don't know all of what that person does for the community," Mask said. "While Bob and Trudy oftentimes do what they do under the radar, we happen to know a lot because of all they do for Dutch Days."