2023 Grand Marshal
Executive Director of Western Welcome Week
Each year, the Western Welcome Week Board of Directors honors a member of the Littleton community as Grand Marshal to represent the spirit, pride, and enthusiasm for Littleton’s annual community celebration.
In 2023, the board unanimously selected Cindy Hathaway, Executive Director for Western Welcome Week, for her dedication, passion, and commitment to the organization for more than 40 years. It is a long-overdue public thank you to Cindy, who admits she is more comfortable working “behind the scenes” for Littleton’s annual community celebration than being at the front of the parade in a horse-drawn carriage.
“Cindy is incredibly connected to this community and so many of its longtime members,” said board member Janelle Poullier.” Because of this and her consistently demonstrated love for Western Welcome Week, the board members continue to support WWW’s mission and its events.”
Cindy started her career in Littleton at Littleton National Bank (LNB) when it was at the corner of Prince Street and Alamo. During her time at LNB, she became involved with Western Welcome Week, helping run the events for the bank as well as helping to build elaborate floats. She also sat on the WWW Board of Directors for ten years.
In the late 1990s, Cindy was offered the executive directorship for WWW. She gladly turned in her business suits, pantyhose, and heels, for jeans, t-shirts, and sandals to work for an organization to which she is absolutely dedicated, and for a community that she loves.
“Cindy has a deep passion and a boundless dedication to WWW and to the continuation of this amazing tradition,” said Shannon Paul, another longtime, dedicated board member. “Cindy stays open-minded and actively listens to the WWW board.”
Cindy loves her job and feels at home at the WWW office in the Edwin A Bemis house in Sterne Park. In 1926, Mr. Bemis invited Houstoun Waring to Littleton to be the editor of the Littleton Independent newspaper. Mr. Waring was looking for ways to promote Littleton, and in 1928, he organized a “homecoming” in honor of Richard S. Little’s 100th birthday. Over the years, Homecoming Days evolved into Western Welcome Week. It was meant to be.
WWW’s board members are community-minded volunteers who chair and coordinate its flagship events: the Opening Night Concert; the Pancake Breakfast, Stick Horse Stampede, and Kids Games of Old; the Taste of WWW, Silent Auction, and Somma’s Spirits; Festival Day, Craft Fair, and Grand Parade; and the Brad & Mary Bradford Memorial Duck Race. Cindy is the glue that holds it all together.
“While she is dotting the i’s on contracts, permits, and sponsorship agreements, Cindy is crossing the T’s to ensure WWW has enough pancake batter, stick horses, parade banners, rubber duckies, port-a-lets, and volunteer tee shirts for every person who honors WWW by volunteering during the ten days of events,” said Judy Ganschaw, a WWW office volunteer for 29 years. “And then, after the events are over, Cindy never fails to say thank you to each and every person who carried on the tradition of Western Welcome Week. She truly personifies and exemplifies the love and nurturing community spirit that was set into motion 95 years ago.”
Western Welcome Week, Inc. is an independent, stand-alone 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, relying on sponsorships, donations, and thousands of volunteer hours to provide the support it offers to Littleton’s service clubs, charities, and nonprofit organizations. WWW is grateful for its community partnerships with the City of Littleton, Arapahoe Community College, South Metro Fire Rescue, Littleton Public Schools, and South Suburban Parks and Recreation.
In its 95th year, Western Welcome Week brings together the greater Littleton community in the celebration of community spirit — filled with tradition and honoring the heritage of the greater Littleton area, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Contributed by Judy Ganschaw, Janelle Poullier, Shannon Paul, and Cathy Weaver