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Sullwold selected GND grand marshal

Nona Sullwold was named this year's Good Neighbor Days grand marshal.

Nona Sullwold, 67, has lived in Roberts since she was 3 years old.

While Sullwold has attended every Roberts Good Neighbor Days weekend since the tradition began, she says this year's event will be especially meaningful. Sullwold was named the 2012 Good Neighbor Days grand marshal.

Sullwold said of all the good neighbors in the Roberts community, she never imagined she'd receive the honor of serving as grand marshal.

"I was shocked. Totally shocked," she said of learning she was nominated for the role. "I haven't done anything spectacular. Just if somebody needs some food or something, I do that."

Sullwold, who is involved in Homemakers and Cross Lutheran Church, says she's always aimed to be a good person.

"I've always thought that I wanted to be a good person. Don't lie. Don't cheat anybody. Just be respectful, that's all I've ever done," she explained.

A personality like Sullwold's fits well into the neighborly feel of the Roberts community.

"It's a nice community. Everybody helps everybody else out. They're always concerned about the other person. And if something tragic happens, everybody is there to help in whatever way they can. It's a great community," Sullwold said of Roberts.

Sullwold and her husband, Tom, raised three daughters in Roberts, and she says she's never considered leaving the small town.

While Sullwold has always tried to help her neighbors going through rough times, she said she was amazed at the outpouring of support she received when she needed some help of her own.

Sullwold was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had a kidney removed in 2001. After being healthy for years, in 2009 doctors discovered through CT scans that Sullwold had cancerous legions in her brain, pancreas, kidney and back.

Though she's feeling pretty good these days, Sullwold says she'll never forget the overwhelming support she received from her neighbors.

She said during that tough time, her neighbors sent well wishes, food and one neighbor continues to help maintain her gardens.

Sullwold hasn't let her cancer or severe osteoporosis prevent her from having a positive outlook on life and she says she's looking forward to celebrating with her community during this year's Good Neighbor Days.

"I'm looking forward to seeing my neighbors and visiting," she said. "Riding in the parade as grand marshal will be really special because it was such an unexpected honor for them to ask me."

Parade organizers said Sullwold was selected as grand marshal because she's a courageous woman who is well respected in the Roberts community.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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