PRINCETON — The 2013 Homestead Festival grand marshal is Penny Best.
Best moved to Princeton in 1979 and immediately began volunteering for many organizations throughout Bureau County. She served on the Bureau County United Way Board, helping with their Christmas for Kids toy drive for many years. As a member of the Princeton Tourism Board, holding the offices of vice president and then president, she was active in promoting the area as a travel destination. Her service on the Civil War re-enactment committee and on the Princeton Park District Board also demonstrated her commitment to enhancing the local quality of life.
As the first female exalted ruler of the Princeton Elks Lodge, Best was instrumental in starting “Our Table” which feeds more than 100 people every week. She was a previous member of the Homestead Festival Steering Committee, recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award, the Chamber Ambassadors Outstanding Volunteer Award and Friend of the Bureau County Pork Producers Award, all of which recognized her position as an outstanding volunteer leader in our community.
One of Best’s favorite and fun activities is serving as queen of the local chapter of the Red Hat Society, a global organization that supports and encourages women while reshaping the way they are viewed in today’s culture. When she is not spending time as the volunteer manager or a newly elected trustee of the Elks Lodge, she loves to bake, read, garden and spend time with her family.