June 26 ē 02:41 PM

Blueberry Grand Marshal enjoys community service

Tri-City Times Publisher Delores Heim was chosen as this yearís Blueberry Parade Grand Marshal for her dedication to the Imlay City community. photo by Tom Wearing.
July 25, 2007
IMLAY CITY — Oftentimes it's the work done behind the scenes that's instrumental in the overall success of any venture.

Delores Heim knows all about doing her part and lending a helping hand, whether it's at her own place of business or for the community-at-large.

Not even knee surgery just seven weeks ago can stop her from working the concession stand at Friday night's Alumni Football Game or selling t-shirts and blueberry pies in the information booth at the Blueberry Festival.

For her assistance over the last 27 years in planning and working the Blueberry Festival and her involvement in the Imlay City Chamber of Commerce and the Imlay City Athletic Boosters, Delores was named the 2007 Grand Marshal of the Blueberry Festival Parade.

"If I ask anything of Delores, she always follows through," said Sally Reinhardt, executive director of the Imlay City Chamber of Commerce. "I know I can count on her, especially during the Blueberry Festival. She's very deserving of this honor."

Delores, 74, was born in Detroit. While attending Armada schools she met Marty Heim of Almont, whom she wed in 1954 in Allenton. They raised two daughters, Kim and Lori, moved to the Imlay City area in 1973, and purchased the Tri-City Times newspaper in 1980.

"I always worked alongside Marty in the production room, helping him lay out the paper," Delores recalled. "I also delivered papers for years and cleaned the office."

Sadly, Marty passed away in 1984. Kim and husband, Randy Jorgensen, were already on the newspaper staff. Lori and husband, Tom Campbell, joined the family business in 1988. Delores is still at the helm of the paper, serving as publisher.

Her willingness to serve is just a natural progression from the community newspaper business. Reinhardt said Delores attends Blueberry Festival Committee meetings year-round, decorates the banquet hall for the chamber's annual dinner-dance, and lends a hand with the Blueberry Auction, a major fundraiser for the festival held each spring.

"I have a great time doing everything," Delores said, "and I know they're always in desperate need of people to volunteer.

"I'm also a good one for talking," she joked. "I love waiting on customers and the people I work with. We enjoy each other and we have a great time. I also like being around young people and working at the football and basketball game concession booths. It's helped to keep me close to my grandchildren."

Her grandchildren include Keil Jorgensen, 24, Nick Campbell, 21, and Alissa Campbell, 18.

Julie Salsido of Imlay City, a member of the Blueberry Festival Committee, first met Delores nine years ago.

"She amazes me," said Salsido. "I admire her a lot for her strength. She's also kind, helpful and a great asset to the community."

Although Delores has ridden on Tri-City Times-sponsored floats in area parades in the past, she says she's trying not to think about her new role as Grand Marshal.

"I'm shocked, really," she says of her nomination. "I never dreamt that they'd choose me, and I'm a little nervous about it.

"Of course, I've been on a lot of floats before, so I guess I'll just pretend it's one of them," she laughed. Be sure to pick up next week's Tri-City Times for a full schedule and highlights of this year's Blueberry Festival detailed in our special insert.

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