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Grand marshals selected for Ox Cart Days

Paige Johnson, Barb Rogers, and Chelsea Johnson (not pictured) will be this year's grand marshals in honor of former Lions Club member, Lester Rogers.

A former Lions Club member and his family are being honored for their contributions to the club and the community.

Lester Rogers, a very active Lion Club member, died last year from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In his honor, the Lion's Club asked his wife Barb Rogers and two granddaughters, Chelsea and Paige Johnson, to be this year's grand marshals during Ox Cart Days.

According to his wife Barb Rogers, Lester Rogers was involved with the Lions Club "forever."

"He was very passionate about Lions," Barb Rogers said. "He belonged to the New Richmond Lions when they were a group and when they folded, he transferred to Star Prairie."

The Lions Club's work with Camp Needlepoint, a camp for kids with diabetes, other camps and the Lions Club's work internationally was especially important to Lester Rogers.

"Les was very, very involved," said Chris Boardman, Star Prairie Lions Club secretary and Ox Cart Days chairwoman. "He believed in the Lions Club and what the Lions Club was doing. He recognized the fact that Lions International serves so many different people."

Boardman said that asking Barb Rogers and the Johnsons to be grand marshals was a great way to honor their contributions and support, as well as Lester Rogers'.

"He had been a big part of us and we wanted to honor his memory and recognize the fact that his wife had been very supportive of him throughout his years with the Lions Club," Boardman said. "The two granddaughters that were also selected as grand marshals have been very instrumental in helping us with Ox Cart Days the last few years."

Paige Johnson said it was very unexpected to receive the honor.

"When Grams told me about it I thought it was a great way to honor Grandpa and everything he did," Paige Johnson said.

According to Boardman, the grand marshals participate at the royalty banquet, coronation, the parade and other times during Ox Cart Days.

Both Johnson and Barb Rogers said they are humbled by the honor and excited to be involved this year in a new and special way.

"I'm sure it'll be different this year because we're kind of a part of it," Johnson said.

The Star Prairie Lions Club was founded in 1968 and has continued to grow steadily and remain active in the community since then.

"We're pretty proud to say that for a community of 560 people we have a very active group," Boardman said.

As a whole, Lions Club International has about 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members, making it the world's largest service club organization.

"We think it's a worthwhile organization," Barb Rogers said. "They help a lot of people all over."