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Something ‘grand’ in store for Lindsey Kimball, age 13

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AYER — When it came time to pick this year’s Fourth of July parade grand marshal the committee started thinking of all the prominent people in town.

Realizing they’ve had almost every current and past police and fire chief and a lot of the former selectmen, they decided they needed someone who would inspire everyone, not just the adults.

Once her name was thrown out as a suggestion, the committee immediately agreed — Lindsey Kimball, age 13, would be this year’s grand marshal.

“It’s good for people to know that having cancer doesn’t mean giving up on life and that you can survive,” committee member Mary Spinner said.

Remembering am interview she had seen, Spinner said she feels Kimball is a lot like the young Red Sox pitcher, Jon Lester.

“I just remember whenever someone would ask (Lester) about his battle with cancer, he would say he didn’t want to be known as the Red So pitcher with cancer, just simply as a Red Sox pitcher,” Spinner said. “I’m sure Lindsey just wants to be a regular kid.”

Too often young people look to sports figures as role models when they have role models right in their own communities, Spinner added.

“Lindsey should be a role model for everyone,” she said.

Kimball was originally diagnosed with Leukemia when she was just 7 years old. Now 13, Kimball has been in remission for the past three years.

Though she hasn’t decided what she’s going to wear or how she’s going to do up her long, curly hair, Kimball has been practicing one thing –the queen’s wave.

“I was really surprised,” she said of being selected as the grand marshal. “I think it’s really cool.”

The parade kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. in Hannaford making its way to Pirone Park where the festivities will continue until dusk, when the town’s fireworks will light up the sky.

“Town meeting funds the fireworks,” Spinner said, “and we’re extremely grateful for that. That’s $9,500 we don’t have to worry about.”

The town allots the committee $25,000 to be raised for the event, which the committee raises by selling glow sticks, raffling off baskets and by vendors renting their booths for $35 each.

“The glow sticks are passé now,” Spinner said. “We still have some we’re going to sell this year, but we know all about the new flashing ones.”

Activities will include pony and miniature horse rides with Ruth Maxant, jungle percussionist Abe Finch, Jerry Wheeler and his musical motor home and various vendor booths such as face painting and temporary tattoos, sand art, jewelry and more.

The Nashoba Valley Concert Band will also be performing two shows during the day.

“A lot of the (vendors) will set up at 6:30 in the morning,” Spinner said. “People will drift in (Pirone Park) before watching the parade.”

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