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Anderson named grand marshal for Hammond parade

"I have no idea why they made me parade marshal," said Paulette Anderson.

Anderson was chosen by the Hammond Lions Club to lead this year's Heartland Days parade on Sunday, Aug 10, at 12:30 p.m.

Anderson and her husband, Joe, have been living in Hammond for about 28 years. She's a native to Amery but has also lived in Florida and California.

She said she moved back to Wisconsin because she knew people here and she didn't like the fast pace of California.

Anderson is quick to publicize organizations and events she's involved in before bragging about her own contributions to them and the community.

Linda Hawkins, member of the celebrations committee responsible for choosing Anderson, said it's typical of her to shy away from recognition of her contributions.

"She's got her fingers into everything," Hawkins said. "She does a lot for the community but doesn't expect anything in return."

Anderson's longest-held role in the area is as director of the Hammond Arts Alliance. She said she started the organization 12 years ago and made herself director. Since then, she's always held the post.

Anderson said her current project for the Arts Alliance is to get permanent gallery space.

The Arts Alliance has a show about once a month except for the summer, Anderson said. Media has included artists, musicians and filmmakers.

During Heartland Days, Anderson said there will be an all llama art show upstairs in the Library. The president of the art board made a llama documentary that will be shown on Thursday, Aug. 7, at 6 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at noon.

The gallery show will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday; times on Sunday are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Hawkins said Anderson's efforts to bring the arts to Hammond is one of her most significant contributions to the area. The other, she said, is her horticultural background and abilities.

Anderson used to run a retail gardening store, Paulette's Gardens, but has since stopped. Now she works more with the gardens themselves. She's responsible for many around town, including the one by the Library.

Beyond its garden, Anderson is passionate about the Hammond Community Library. She said she helped to remodel the upstairs space to get it to its current condition.

Now, Anderson is among the people working for added improvements to the building, like heating the upstairs and adding handicap accessibility.

Also on her list of to-dos is getting a Community Ed program started in Hammond.

Other roles Anderson holds are supervisor for the Town of Hammond Board, yoga instructor and a former chamber member. Additionally, she's active in the llama events around the area.

Hawkins said the celebration committee makes a list of candidates for the parade marshal post. To qualify, Hawkins said, "We look for someone who stands out in the community."

After making the list, the committee talks about each person's contributions to the area. This year, Hawkins said Anderson stood out from the rest, and there was nothing she could do to refuse the title.

Hawkins said, "She's done a lot for us and we want to thank her for it."