Good participation in first Westreville Festival

On a beautiful Saturday morning, over 30 participants rode bikes, ran, and walked at the first Westreville Festival. Thirty more folks came for coffee and pie and to talk about memories of Westreville. The kids enjoyed various games and the highlight of Justice Mews' Chicken Bingo. The scorching temperatures and high wind were issues, but not enough to dampen spirits. Over $1,200 was raised for the Eckert Children Scholarship Fund and the Westreville Historical Marker.

Scores of people gathered Saturday at the Pleasant Valley Lutheran Church to take part in the first Westreville Festival. (Photo courtesy of Rhonda Howe)

The guest of honor was Evelyn Girard, who will turn 94 this year. Evelyn joined us from Vermillion to share her photos and memories of running the last Westreville Store. Her son Roger and his wife Karen came from Yankton to celebrate as well. Attendees came from Sioux Falls, Brandon, Wakonda, Vermillion, and of course, Westreville.

Nancy Carlsen was on hand to guide interested folks through the nine-volume 2008 Cemetery Inventory she had compiled about the 28 cemeteries in Clay County when she served on the Clay County Historic Preservation Commission. Women from Pleasant Valley Church and neighbors made pies and sweet rolls, including 8 pies from Carla Ostrem (now famous in the area for her pies!) Rhonda and Andy Howe, with the Eckert Children Scholarship, were there to walk, assist with sag wagon duty, and talk about the scholarship fund. This year's Irene-Wakonda High School recipient was Melissa Hessman, from Wakonda.

Many thanks go out to the newspapers who helped advertise this event, neighbors Dick and Linda Anderson who took care of all the road signs, Ron and Kathy Madsen who helped with the sag wagon crew, the Clay County Sheriff's Office, Jones' Food Center for water bottles, Clay Rural Water for water coolers at the cemeteries, the core crew who put many hours into getting Westreville ready for this festival, and to the Pleasant Valley Lutheran Church for hosting the event.

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