Madden to lead Septemberfest parade
Unaccustomed to being the center of attention, a man who has put the township's library on the literary map finds himself apprehensive about leading Septemberfest's parade as its grand marshal.
With credits and awards galore, Mike Madden, who will retire as director of the Schaumburg Township District Library at the end of the year, will lead the two-mile parade in celebration of Schaumburg's Septemberfest that commemorates Labor Day.
Officials selected Madden in part to show appreciation and to honor the community icon, who also is a teacher and author of the book, "Small Business Start-up Index."
"I am honored and happy about the distinction but the truth is I'm apprehensive about being in the public eye," Madden said. "I have some experience though because on the Fourth of July I was marshal of the Hoffman Estates parade and was amazed at how many people are on the sidelines. I am overwhelmed to be honored by both villages."
Among his career awards is one he received earlier this year from Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas; two years ago he took home the North Suburban Library System's "Lifetime Achievement Award," that credits those who make "substantial contributions" during their professional lives; and he is a past recipient of the Illinois Library Association's Librarian of the Year Award.
During his career Madden taught at Dominican University Graduate School of Library Science and at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn.
The parade, with the theme "The Greatest Show in Schaumburg," will step off at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 1, from a different location this year, according to events coordinator Roxane Benvenuti. The Wise Road construction project necessitates the parade route change.
"For this year only the parade will travel north on Summit Drive from Hartford Drive to Stock Port Lane," Benvenuti said.
A former youth worker for teens and a Schaumburg employee for 17 years, Benvenuti oversees her 12th Septemberfest this year and also coordinates Christkindlesmart, the Prairie Arts Festival and other major happenings.
Although it seems as though her work is never done - the committee meets regularly beginning in January - Benvenuti finds it invigorating to view how "everything comes together over the fest weekend."
One further concern is that "the blanket people," those who reserve excess space at the entertainment venues, be respectful of their neighbors.
"It would be considerate for people to reserve just the space they need because we expect record crowds at this free event," Benvenuti said.
Darlene Smith is parade chairman and works with co-chair Curt Rogers, himself co-chair of the entire fest with Bill Boyle.
Thinking back on his 41-year career, Madden says he is amazed he was in one place so long. He acknowledges that the library began with the efforts of the Hoffman Estates Woman's Club, when members collected and bought books, opened a facility in a school and used volunteer help to service patrons. Then, he said, folks moved materials into a Roselle Road house before officials constructed the previous building. Finally it has an adequate facility in Schaumburg's Town Square.
"I never moved but the library moved around me," said Madden, a congenial fellow, who said he looks forward to the grand marshal tag.
"I promise to smile and wave to the folks on both sides of the street," he vowed.