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Life-long resident is named grand marshal

Sometimes, just being a nice guy and a good person deserves a little kudos. It turns out, one of those nice guys is getting that recognition this weekend.

Marc Williams, a life-long resident of Farmington, is that guy. Williams receives that recognition in the form of a smile and a wave -- from the back of a convertible in Sunday's Dew Days parade. After all, he is the 2009 grand marshal.

His accomplishments are many, as he has been reaching out to help others for most of his adult life. Most notably, Williams has raised more than $1 million for Minnesota Special Olympics and has served on the board of directors for the Northland 300 Snowmobile ride to raise funds.

He has also taught snowmobile safety to area youth for the better part of 15 years, and has been active with the Farmington Snow Tigers Snowmobile Club, marking and maintaining trails for more than 36 years. Add to that his participation in the Farmington Sons of the American Legion, the Farmington Eagles Club, and, most recently, the newly-formed Farmington VFW Men's Auxiliary, and he's been a pretty active guy around the community.

So why does he do all this? Well, why not?

"I just kind of do it," he said. "Always have. I've just kind of been one of those people to do it. For 25 to 30 years. It's kind of nice to give back to the area."

Williams shakes his head and gives a little laugh when he talks about being named as the grand marshal for this year's Dew Days parade. It is, after all, an honor that he really never expected.

His friend, Peggy Shepherd of Lakeville, apparently thought he was pretty special, because she was the one who submitted a two-page letter lauding his efforts.

"Marc Williams is a very kind, and generous man that does not ask for much in return but he gives a lot of his heart to help others," Shepherd wrote.

At first, he was surprised that he was even nominated. To his way of thinking, there were many very good candidates for the honor.

"I really didn't expect it. I didn't really feel I've earned it, but I guess I must have done something right," he said.

But once he learned he was a candidate, and that a poll was being taken on the Dew Days website, well, he started to pay a little closer attention to the results. And once the polls closed, he knew he had been chosen before he was contacted by the Dew Days committee.

Does he have his parade wave down? Not quite yet. He's had quite a few people giving him pointers over the past few days, though.

The Dew Days grand parade will be held Sunday, June 28, beginning at 2 p.m. in downtown Farmington.