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2018 Parade Grand Marshall Joe Doerfler - photo by Bill Monroe

Winners of the 2018 Ms. Blarney and Mr. Malarkey Contest held at Manhattans

2018 Ms Blarney - Brenda Brittan and Mr Malarkey - Rory "Ole" Olson - photo submitted

Joe Doerfler is the 2018 Crosslake St. Pat’s Parade Grand Marshal

Web posted March 13, 2018
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

Joe Doerfler gets emotional when he’s asked how he feels about being named the Grand Marshal of the Crosslake St. Patrick’s Day Parade to be held March 17. “Other than getting married and having our children, this is one of the most awesome experiences of my life,” he said. “It’s a great honor to have others choose you for this. When I head the news I said Why me? It’s something that others have bestowed on you. I just can’t explain how much it means to me,” he said.

Cindy Myogeto, Director of the Crosslake Chamber of Commerce, said, “the criteria for being selected Grand Marshal is to have contributed to the community through volunteerism and to work for the welfare and success of the community and Joe has certainly done that.”

There’s no doubt Doerfler has done his share of community volunteerism over the years...and then some. He moved to town about 40 years ago after serving in the Naval Reserve and Air Force and working for ten years in youth snowmobile training and another decade in DNR gun training. He worked in this area in construction before starting his own business, Crosslake Stump and Tree Service, which he continues to operate today.

Over the years he has served on the city’s Road Commission, Cemetery Commission and Police Reserve. He is currently a member of the Light Up the Dam Committee. He is a member of the Crosslake American Legion Post 500 and the Immaculate Heart Catholic Church. For 19 years he organized the annual Hunters Rendezvous Deer Classic that drew up to 3,000 participants.

He is a charter member of the Crosslake Ideal Lions Club and served as its president. He also served as District Membership Chairman, District Zone Chairman and District Governor in 1989-90. One of the Lions Club projects he’s most involved with is the Annual Fishing Contest. This year will mark the 30th year of the contest. Last year 98 boats participated in the event held at Moonlite Bay. He currently serves as the club’s membership director and encourages anyone who’s interested in joining to contact him at 218-692-2122.

The Lions Club is perhaps best known for its charitable contributions to the community from money raised by projects and from pull-tab revenues. Over the years, those donations have built the Crosslake Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center and have benefitted organizations including the Crosslake Community Center, the Crosslake and Ideal fire departments and the Crosslake Music in the Park summer series. The Club donated $100,000 to the Lakes Area Kids Enrichment Foundation to support the fund drive to build the new Crosslake Community School and funded the purchase of security cameras in the Pequot Lakes High School, which school officials credit for a drastic reduction in bullying incidents there.

When Doerfler says he puts being named Grand Marshal ”right up there with becoming Lions Club District Governor,” that’s mighty high praise for the honor. “When I talk to people about joining the Lions, I tell them to put family first, their job second and Lions Club third. I challenge them to volunteer for one project a year. If everyone did that, our Club could work wonders,” he said.

In 2017, the Club donated $122,944 to various causes.

“God has blessed me with one of the greatest families,” he said. Doerfler, 80, and his wife Shirley will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary later this year.

He choked up when he added a final note to this story. “We will miss our little dog Charlie Voy in this year’s parade. He died since last year’s parade but was featured in many, many parades dressed in green and riding in the pickup truck that pulled the Lions club float. He would look out the passenger window and kids loved him. This year it won’t be the same without him. Now I know why they say a dog is man’s best friend.”

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