Beef Days Grand Marshals – Gary and Denise Bentrim
Gary and Denise Bentrim have been chosen as this year’s Solon Beef Days Grand Marshals of the 2021 Celebration. The Solon community has been home to Gary and Denise Bentrim for the last 35 years. Denise grew up in Solon and for Gary, when he fell in love with Denise, he fell in love with Solon and they decided that the Solon area was where they wanted to live and raise their family. They have three children, Jennifer and husband Dan live in Dubuque and have two grown children, Becca and Brady, Ryan who lives in the Solon area, and Tiffany and husband Brandon live in Minneapolis.
Gary and Denise have worked tirelessly over the span of several years to help build Solon Beef Days into the leading community event in the area. Gary recalls an invite to a Beef Days Meeting from devoted, and now departed, community leader Jane Vest that began their 20-year long tenure of Gary as the Beef Days
President and Denise as the Proud Sponsor Chairperson.
Gary, a management professional, envisioned an organization format for Beef Days where people could feel invested and contribute to the Beef Days events, all while have a fun at the same time. He helped form several committees with each having a chairperson lead, this committee format is still in place today and key to the overall success of the Beef Days celebration.
Denise went to work creating a Proud Sponsor program that offered the opportunity for local businesses to support the Beef Days event through various sponsor levels. Here again, the idea of community investment worked with grand success and the sponsorships have become an essential part of creating an event that continues to grow and thrive, making the third weekend in July in Solon, Iowa the best place to be.
Through the years, Gary and Denise liked to visit other community festivals in search of new bands and ideas that would work well for Solon Beef Days. Reviving the car raffle was an idea the Gary and Denise had as a salute to the pre- Beef Days event in Solon called the June Jubilee in the 1960’s where a new Cadillac was raffled each year.
When asked if they had a favorite part of the celebration, Gary and Denise responded they were most proud of all of the contributions that the Beef Days has able to return back to the community. As community non-profit organization, the Beef Days Committee returns the annually proceeds back to various community groups and organizations.
Gary retired from software management in 2014 and Denise in 2018 from Mercy Hospital. They are their enjoying retirement years in Solon while escaping off to warmer climates during the cold season.
The Solon Beef Days Committee would like to thank the Gary and Denise Bentrim and their family for their vision, dedication and love of the Solon community and Solon Beef Days!