Rural Missouri - December 2022 - 30
Above: Glenda and friends dressed up with Gerti for the Soulard Mardi Gras Pet Parade last fall. Center: Gerti in her pumpkin finery served
as grand marshal during the Augusta Harvest Festival this year. The band, Texas Giants, dedicated the song " Good Hearted Woman " to Gerti.
Right: One of Gerti's many outfits includes an Easter bunny costume which kids of all ages enjoy. Photos this page courtesy Glenda Drier.
The goat's foray as an entertainer began in September
2018 when she trotted (with permission) into the Grandview
Healthcare Center in Washington, Missouri where
Glenda's father, Glennon Stelzer, lived. Glenda and Gerti
enjoyed the visit so much they booked a few more appearances
that year, including the Defiance
Christmas parade as well as
a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus
- with both Gerti and Glenda
dressed in elf costumes, of course.
According to the Cuivre River
Electric member, Gerti took a firstplace
ribbon in the parade for " Best
Horse Ensemble " because there
wasn't a category for goats.
When Glenda wasn't working
on the farm with her husband,
she and Gerti continued to hit the
road, visiting schools and classrooms
in the region. Over the years, Gerti has brought
smiles to faces of all ages while dressed as a unicorn, Easter
bunny, the Grinch and more.
school visits, parades and festivals across the area.
Later that year, the duo added a few friends and entered
the Defiance Christmas Parade, where Gerti the Grinch
and her Who crew took the first-place award. Even Glenda's
chocolate Labrador, Bobbi, played along, antler tied
atop her head as Max, Grinch's
" If we can bring joy to
someone for even a
short time, this is
all worth it. "
- Glenda Drier
The following week Gerti and
Glenda planned to host a photo
booth during the Augusta Christmas
walk. The goal was to help purchase
new playground equipment
for the town.
As the event began, the weather
turned violent, sending vendors,
workers and attendees into the
basement of the event center. Defiance,
population 150, was hit by an
EF3 tornado during the storm, killDuring
the spring of 2020, Glenda's father passed away.
Then COVID put a stop to visits nearly everywhere.
" I hated thinking about the nursing home residents not
being able to have visitors, " recalls Glenda. " So Gerti, my
daughter, Helena, and I dressed in festive attire and stood
outside the doors and windows of the home for all to see. "
Bringing joy to those around her is why Glenda takes
the time to share Gerti with everyone.
" Glenda has always been so involved with the community,
her heart is huge, " says longtime Augusta friend,
Vicki Gwinn. " She's selfless when it comes to serving others.
And Gerti, well she's so unique, everyone enjoys her. "
The next year was even busier, with Glenda and her
entourage joining in the Soulard Mardi Gras Pet Parade,
where Gerti was decked out in her brightest party-goat
finery. They next took part in the Augusta Harvest Festival
Parade, where Gerti dressed up as a grape, taking second
place. December was again booked with nursing home and
30 RURAL MISSOURI | DECEMBER 2022
ing one resident and leaving a swath of destruction across
the little town.
" Here we were sitting in the basement and here's Gerti
the Grinch and Max sitting calmly among everyone, "
Glenda recalls. " We all truly weathered the storm together. "
Today, Glenda and Gerti continue bringing joy to everyone
around them, sharing laughter and smiles as a sort of
dynamic duo of happiness.
" If we can bring joy to someone for even a short time,
this is all worth it. I know it always gave my dad something
to smile about, " Glenda says. " Some residents have few, if
any, visitors. It's such a gratifying experience and, for me,
it's truly the reason we celebrate
this season. "
You can contact Glenda at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling
636-459-0679. Glenda and Gerti
travel as the farm schedule allows
and only ask for donations to cover
Rural Missouri - December 2022
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