The Pekin Marigold Festival Committee is happy to announce Tom Elliott as the 2019 Marigold Festival Grand Marshal. Terri Gambetti, friend and former co-worker, nominated Tom. She wrote in her nomination that Tom “cares deeply for his community and is consistently doing what he can to make the world around him a better place.”
Ms Gambetti wrote that Tom “is a friend, supporter and steward to every group, organization, business, committee and family in our community.” She stated that Tom is always behind the scenes, but he’s the guy who makes it happen. Tom arrived in Pekin over 40 years ago to complete an internship in Parks and Recreation at the Pekin Park District and retired in 2017 as the Superintendent of Recreation. During his tenure he was responsible for development of many parks that continue to be a positive asset in Pekin. He was the major driving force behind many public improvement projects, including: Pekin Park Trail, Pekin Skate Park, Soldwedel Program Center, Happy Tails Dog Park, renovation of the Mineral Springs Lagoon, restoration of the historic Pavilion building, the large addition to the Eugene Miller Senior Citizen’s Center, Dragonland Water Park, a 10,000 square foot addition to Parkside Athletics…and much more!
Tom is engaged in his church, Pekin First Christian Church, serving in many capacities. He shows deep compassion and empathy for the sick or injured. In traumatic times, Tom shows up to comfort and pray for the affected families.
Tom served on the Marigold Festival committee and for nearly 30 years, and was entrusted with the responsibility of hiding and checking on the Pepsi Marigold Medallion. Tom was also found hauling cans for the Kiwanis’s Recycle Program, coordinating 10,000 lights to turn on at the same time for Winter Wonderland, and collecting valuable “junk” for the annual AMBUC’s Auction.
The Marigold Festival committee noted that Tom is a perfect example of a hometown hero much in keeping with this year’s theme of “Celebrating Marigold Heroes.” As the Grand Marshal nomination noted: “Tom Elliott is the epitome of showing pride in Pekin and Pekin is a much better place because of him.”
Congratulations, Tom Elliott - our 2019 Pekin Marigold Festival Grand Marshal!