Henrietta Veldhuizen, a long-standing and reputable member of the Pella Historical Society, has been granted the 2019 Tulip Time Service Award for her dedication and volunteer work that goes beyond her job description.
Veldhuizen began working at the historical society about 26 years ago as a house cleaner. Throughout the years, she’s been a helping hand for a plethora of tasks to ensure the historical society and Tulip Time continue to flourish. Her contributions have ranged from Christmas decorating, serving food to volunteers at the festival and making sure Dutch dancers are always costumed.
Veldhuizen is known as the “walking dictionary” of how things have been done in the past, where things are stored and why something was done the way it is.
“They call me the jack of all trades and the master of none,” said Veldhuizen. “I do whatever needs to be done.”
Henrietta stated she loves being in the Village and seeing festival-goers enjoying themselves. One of her favorite memories and activities during the festival is walking with her great-grandchildren in the baby parade. She also enjoys riding the historical float on Saturday evening.
“Being with the people, just seeing them happy and talking about the tulips is one of my favorite parts,” said Veldhuizen. “It’s beautiful.”
Veldhuizen lived and worked on a farm in the New Sharon/Taylor area with her husband until they both retired. Veldhuizen saw an ad requesting help at the historical society shortly after relocating to Pella, and she’s been with them ever since.
“It’s just a wonderful place to be and a wonderful place to work, said Veldhuizen.
Veldhuizen has three children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. In her free time, she loves traveling, shopping, embroidery and going for walks. Veldhuizen recently celebrated her 85th birthday and shows no sign of slowing down.
“I love promoting Pella and promoting Tulip Time,” said Veldhuizen. “I promote on the good things in life instead of the negative. That’s what I like to do the most.”
Emily Hawk can be reached at email@example.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-628-3882.
84th annual Tulip Time
May 1-May 4
Parades: 2:30-4 p.m. and 8:30-9:45 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Grandstand shows: 1-2:30 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Fireworks: Friday following the lighted parade
Entertainment: At the Tulip Toren from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday