Our town, our people — Julie Hitchins


“Our town, our people” is a weekly Q&A with a local resident who is active in the community. Have a suggestion for someone we should talk to? Email news@timesrepublican.com

Julie Hitchins is the executive director of the Community Foundation of Marshall County and has lived in Marshalltown 28 years.

Q: What are you passionate about?

After the tornado I had an epiphany about life and what’s important, and where I find my joy. Volunteering is where I find my joy. Helping others, just being out in the community, and doing good.

Q: What community activities do you participate in?

I volunteer a lot. If there is an opportunity, especially if there are events connected to the Community Foundation, I try to attend. Also, I am board president of Child Abuse Prevention Services, and CAPS has been a passion of mine for almost 28 years. I’m a board member with “Live on Stage Marshalltown” and a member of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization).

Q: What do you enjoy about this community?

Even though Marshalltown is large, it feels very small. I also like how Marshalltown is located. One can go to larger cities where there are a lot of opportunities.

Q: What changes do you feel need to be made in the community?

Continue with the energy we experienced one-year ago. Be kind to everyone; respect others’ opinion, and work together to make Marshalltown the best place to live, work and play.

Q: What advice would you pass on to young people?

Seek out volunteer opportunities. It’s a great way to meet people, and one will feel the joy of giving.

Q: What is your favorite Marshalltown activity?

Not just one: Grimes Farm — what an amazing gift from Mildred and Leonard Grimes. Bike trails — I love walking in a safe, auto-free environment. Live music events — The Orpheum, Iowa River Brewing, Oktemberfest, Marshalltown art festivals, 13th Street District, Tannin and Fiddle and Whistle.

Q: What social activity or event would you like to see come Marshalltown and why?

There are many social events happening almost daily, and we need to support and attend those activities, so they continue to exist. And, when one attends, remember to thank the volunteers for the hard work they’ve put in to make the event happen.