Monticello School Foundation to honor Fellingers

June and Paul Fellinger of Monticello are this year’s honorees at the Monticello School Foundation Dinner and Banquet. For years, the Fellingers have dedicated and donated their time and talents to setting up and decorating the Foundation banquet, as well as proms and homecomings. The Fellingers will be recognized during the March 2 event. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     It goes without saying, it’s all in how you present an event. First impression is everything.

     And to help provide that first impression at the Monticello School Foundation dinner and banquet every year is local couple June and Paul Fellinger.

     This year, on March 2, the School Foundation is honoring the Fellingers for the hard work and dedication to the Foundation and school district over the years.

     The Fellingers have been helping to decorate and set up the annual event since the beginning in the early ‘90s.

     “Creighton (Randolph, former Foundation president) came to us when it started,” recalled June of how their tenure began.

     She said at first they kept it simple with balloons and table décor. Then, June said, it became a high-end event that required more decorations.

     “It usually depends on the head of the committee,” she said of the style and taste of the banquet.

     With the banquet in early March every year, June said they start planning for the decorations and theme at the beginning of the year.

     “The Foundation comes to me and tells me what they need,” said June.

     So much goes into setting up the Berndes Center for the banquet. The Fellingers and their volunteers string and set up the ceiling lights. They make and display table centerpieces. Tablecloths cover every table in the room.

     “Anything dealing with decorations and décor,” June said of the tasks at hand. “It doesn’t seem like much, but it is.”

     New this year at the Foundation banquet is a photo booth displaying Monticello Panther pride. June said she’s been working on the theme with Foundation board member Annette Smith for some time now.

     The banquet itself is taking on a new theme of “Black and Red Monti Gras Tailgate Pep Rally.” June said it’s been fun coming up with tailgate-themed items to showcase throughout the center.

     The Fellingers and some MHS youth (usually a few of their grandkids) put in volunteer time on Friday night before the banquet setting things up inside the Berndes Center. Then, they’ll come in Saturday morning to finish any last minute items. Having the youth, June said, allows the Foundation board members to focus on their job setting up Saturday as well.

     So where does Paul fit in with this job? June said he’s her official hauler of supplies and contractor when it comes to building set pieces.

     “He has built a lot of things for prom over the years,” she said.

     Prom and homecoming grand marches and dances are yet another occasion in which the Fellingers lend a hand, as well as the FFA banquets.

     “We’re always there for the FFA,” said June, proud of their grandkids’ accomplishments in FFA.

      With grandkids making their way through school, the couple has enjoyed decorating the MHS stage for the grand march, and setting up decorations for the dances, wherever they might be held throughout the community.

     June said typically the MHS student council chips in to help for Homecoming, and the junior class volunteers their time for prom set-up.

     “We start decorating for prom on Wednesday,” June said of all that goes into the event for the youth. “It takes a lot to set up.”

     She said it’s nice to have guys in the junior classes who know how to run tools and cut wood to help with the construction of set pieces.

     “If we don’t have what the kids want, Paul builds it,” said June.

     As if these events don’t keep the Fellingers busy enough, they also help decorate for the Sacred Heart Gala and school banquets in Anamosa.

     “It’s all because they ask,” she said as to why they extend their services throughout Jones County.

     Growing up, June said her father always stressed the idea that if you’re going to support one thing in your community, do something that benefits the youth.

     “He always did,” she said fondly.

     As for the recognition from the Foundation, June said it’s not something they consider when helping.

     “It’s a need that we fulfill,” she said. ‘We never think of it as an honor.”

     Last week, June also completed the MHS senior class quilt, which will be signed by each senior and auctioned at the Foundation dinner. Each year, June makes a quilt for the auction to help raise money for the school district.

     “I can’t write a check, but I can make something that will help bring in some money,” she said. “I utilize the talents I have, anything the grandkids rope us into doing for the school.”

     Annette Smith with the Foundation acknowledged all that June and Paul have done over the years for the Monticello youth and school district.

     “It is through their hard work that music concerts, homecoming dances and proms, plus too many other events to name have been enhanced with decorations and special touches,” stated Smith. “Most often their services have been offered with little or not pay received. ‘Grandma June’ seems to be everywhere the grandkids are, and for that, we are very grateful. She has been an integral part of making memories for so many.”



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