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Jan and Phyllis Wilson are worthy parade marshals

Founders of PICA receive Frontier Days honor

Some 20 years ago, Jan and Phyllis Wilson, of Fort Dodge, came up with an idea that they believed would help make their community look a lot nicer.

While vacationing in Texas, the Wilsons had been part of volunteer efforts to clean up and beautify some communities and a state park. They decided to bring that volunteer model to Fort Dodge.

In 2002, they received permission from the city’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department to do some work in a city park. They formed a group named Pride In Community Appearance and recruited some volunteer helpers. Constructing a flower bed around the base of the sign at R.D. Mitchell Park was the group’s first project.

Since that first flower bed was completed there is hardly any public space that has not benefited from the attention of PICA. The Wilsons have been guiding the effort since the beginning.

For their thousands of hours of labor in the campaign to make Fort Dodge look better, the Wilsons were named the grand marshals of the 2021 Frontier Days Parade to be held June 5,

They are an outstanding choice for this honor.

They received their cavalry style parade marshal hats Wednesday at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village Opera House. The presentation of the hats was a surprise engineered by Terry Cook, the lead Frontier Days organizer, who lured the Wilsons to the Opera House under the guise that their presence was wanted at a meeting.

Since 2002, the Wilsons have spent thousands of hours working to make public property look good, creating a great image for our community. And for them, being outdoors with a shovel or some other tool in their hands represents only part of the job because they also spend a lot of time planning projects.

Their service to our community is an example for all of us to follow.

Congratulations, Jan and Phyllis. We look forward to seeing you at the parade.

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