The late summer air is filled with delectable smells, from roasted corn to ice cream to cheese curds. Children's delighted shrieks filter through the warm afternoon. Surrounded by friends and neighbors, this is a time when Woodbury’s colors shine bright. This August, Woodbury Days will celebrate its 40th anniversary and the debut of a new president, local resident Kati Cheney.
Cheney first became involved with Woodbury Days in 2015. “My daughter Ava was Little Miss Woodbury Princess in 2015,” Cheney says. With her daughter being a part of the program, Cheney began to work with the ambassadors and then took on the role of vice president of the Woodbury Days Council in 2016, alongside former president Theresa Janechek. When Janechek retired as president after 20 years at the helm, she passed her captain’s hat to Cheney. “I worked with Theresa, trying to soak in as much information as I could,” Cheney says.
Cheney might still be green in her role as president, but she is well-versed when it comes to Woodbury. “I work, live and coach within Woodbury,” she says. The eight-year resident works at a local law firm and is the assistant dance coach for East Ridge High School.
Janechek is entirely confident in Cheney’s ability to put on a spectacular event. “She just has a ton of energy and I think a different outlook,” Janechek says, “She’s younger and she has a family. She can relate to a group of people that maybe I didn’t.”
Cheney isn’t the only fresh face of the Woodbury Days Council this year. “We have an almost completely new board,” Cheney says. The organization also has a new set of members-at-large. “There’s a whole new set of eyes reviewing everything,” she says.
Both Cheney and Janechek are hoping to see many new volunteers for the event as well. “Without people stepping up and getting involved, we wouldn’t have Woodbury Days,” Janechek says. Volunteers do any number of tasks from manning the petting zoo to setting up the parade to helping pick up trash. “The event is completely put on by volunteers,” Cheney says, adding that everyone becomes very close in the months leading up to the big event. “There are a lot of friendships that come out of this council.”
For the 40th anniversary, Cheney hopes to add some extra flare. “We might have things like superhero or princess bingo, with special character guests,” Cheney says. “I think if we had a princess calling bingo, that would be cute.” There will be many new surprises to celebrate the big 40, but many things will stay the same. “We’ve had a really good foundation laid for us,” Cheney says. “It’s a weekend where we can all come together and appreciate all the different families of Woodbury.”
Calling All Volunteers
Individuals, families and groups are all encouraged to register as volunteers for Woodbury Days. From greeting guests to calling bingo numbers, there are many ways to get involved. Visit woodburydays.com for more volunteer information and to register as a new volunteer.
Woodbury Days Council 2018
Kati Cheney, president
Karen Ybarra, vice president
Preeti Jariwala, treasurer
Barbara Flanaghan, secretary
Members-at-large: Bob Furniss, Jeff Janechek, Amy Lombardi, Stacey Robertson, Manali Shah