Plenty of candy after 15 years
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent September 2, 2013 9:54PM
The Caped Crusader stops along the route to give Russ Gluth of Washington Township a Superman cape in honor of Gluth every year giving Batman a cold drink for the last four years of the Malden Labor Day Parade. | JIM WOLF~FOR THE POST-TRIBUNE
Updated: October 4, 2013 6:13AM
MORGAN TOWNSHIP — With 40 entries, the 15th annual Malden Labor Day parade was not as big as it has been, but it had its fair share of dignitaries and fun — and still plenty of candy.
The parade remains informal, as it was when Leonard Kloss, who died in 2010, organized it to show off the Morgan Township Volunteer Fire Department’s new equipment on a holiday that sees few formal celebrations.
“It started as a two-minute parade, and we’ve watched it go up to half an hour,” said Stacey Feller of Nappanee, Ind.
She and husband Bill return to his hometown Malden each year for the family and parade.
“Last year’s candy just about ran out. It’s time for another parade,” Bill joked.
Leading the parade were Grand Marshall Emily Remster in a fire truck and new Morgan Township resident and 5K Stop, Drop and Run sponsor Sheila Villa in a golf cart.
Remster, who works with the Porter County Foundation, organizes scholarships for Morgan Township students, is on the Porter County Fair Board and is retired from the local coop extension, has been a resident of the area for 42 years.
“It’s an honor and a privilege, and I hope I have enough candy,” Remster said.
Villa’s organization Together Helping Everyone Gain Independence From Trauma sponsored the morning’s second annual 5k run, which had 125 entrants raising money for Hoosier Burn Camp.
Burn victims are a special cause for Villa as she was burned over 90 percent of her body nine years ago.
Best entry trophy went to local mail carrier Sandy Bedenkop-Morgenroth, whose friends put together a float to announce her coming Nov. 1 retirement after 32 years on the local route.
She found out about her first participation in the parade a week before the parade, she said.
There were the usual tractors, horses, combined Morgan Township and Washington Township marching bands, a 1912 Dutch calliope, a man on a penny farthing bicycle -- and there was caped crusader, who has Illinois license plates on his Batmobile and gave out Matchbox cars.
Eryk Nicholson, 6, of Kouts who received a set of Batvehicles and the Jokermobile and wore a Batman shirt, looked forward to going back to school after that.
“I’m going to tell them that I saw Batman,” he said.
After the parade, New Hope Missionary Church sponsored the annual picnic at Morgan Township High School.