May 31, 2001 11:00 pm
Sandi Donnelly ().
Sandi Donnelly ().

By T.L. Petersen

Observer Staff Writer

When the Island City Lions Hog Wild Days parade committee came up with their choice of parade grand marshal, there really wasnt any argument just a question of whether they could catch up with her.

They were able to corner their choice at a Lions Hog Wild Days planning meeting. After all, Sandi Donnelly is president of the Lions.

It was very humbling, Donnelly said Thursday from her office at Riveria School. I couldnt really turn it down.

The parade will be held in downtown Island City at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Donnelly, a counselor at Island City and Riveria elementary schools, president of the Lions Club, second-term city counselor, member of the La Grande Rural Fire Department, mother of grown children, and general community supporter, believes the honor came her way because of her involvement with the communitys children, and a combination of her other activities.

Im able to work it all together, she said.

Donnelly has lived in Island City since 1992, but began working with the school and fire department a decade earlier.

In Island City she says shes found the kind of involved people and focus on helping that really defines community to her.

It makes it so easy to be involved, she explained, when the goals are clear.

Its for the kids and the community. Old or young, we all work together. People were coming out of the woodwork at Christmas time to ensure that everyone who needed help was remembered.

Donnelly credits her parents with instilling in her the value of helping other people.

I think about why I do what I do, and realize I learned it from my parents, she says. She grew up in Reedsport and remembers her parents actively helping others, not always in formal organizations or programs, but in using their skills and time.

As for this years Hog Wild Days beginning today, lots has been delegated, she says, but Donnelly will be everywhere, from making sure flea market vendors keep their wares family-friendly, to enjoying tonights barbecue, to cheering on the participants in tomorrow mornings Hindquarter fun run and relay.

And yes, shell ride in the parade in the car labeled Grand Marshal.

Unless shes needed somewhere else...