2016 -Grand Marshal and Junior Grand Marshal
Grand Marshals - Wink Chase and Pattie Laird
The entire Seal Beach community is thrilled to acknowledge Wink Chase and his wife, Pattie Laird as our Grand Marshals for the 38th Annual Seal Beach Lions Christmas Parade presented by the Olive Hill Group and Old Ranch Country Club.
Wink and Pattie, who are highly visible both as Realtors with Keller Williams, are also a pair of the most dedicated emergency response and civilian support leaders in our community. Wink with Pattie's support and help has led the charge for developing and implementing our incredible hyper-local, Neighbor 4 Neighbor (N4N) program and our Civilian Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Why are CERT and N4N so important? Wink spells it out for us, "we have great police and fire protection here in Seal Beach, however; there are not enough of them to take care of all of us in a large-scale emergency. For a time, we all will need to be our own first responders. Neighbor 4 Neighbor helps residents to pool talents and resources while CERT training teaches critical skills for protecting life and property."
Pattie continued, "CERT training gives people a sense of confidence that they will know how to protect themselves and their families in an emergency."
Wink said during our interview, "we are honored to be this year's Christmas Parade Grand Marshals. While we get to ride in the car, we fully realize that the hard work of our fellow CERT members and Neighbor 4 Neighbor participants put us there. They all have our sincere gratitude."
There is nothing like support for not only our fellow citizens, and also our professional emergency responders which could not be more in alignment with this year's theme of a "Red, White & Blue Christmas." We are so fortunate to have Wink and Pattie in our community making a difference for the last.
Congratulations to them both from all of us!
Junior Grand Marshals - 20th Anniversary Seal Beach Leos Club
This year's Junior Grand Marshals are all the Seal Beach Leos club members, who since founding in 1996 by Nancy Grgas, have been a constant pool of volunteers not just for the Lions but dozens of organizations. Leos are everywhere: the Car Show, the Christmas Parade, the Centennial events, Run Seal Beach, the Fish Fry, the Arts & Crafts Faire, Every 15 Minutes, International Student Exchange, the Youth Center Christmas Tree lot (go now for your tree), and so much more.
Nancy Grgas had a vision through her indomitable work with youth for most of her life. Though no longer with us, her commitment to the realization of a way to foster strong civic and service engagement by youth is a beacon of light worldwide. In their 20 years of service, the Leos have racked up some pretty impressive statistics. Approximately 1,000 youth been Leos; they have served more than 50,000 hours and have donated more than $103,000 to the community, local organizations and charitable causes.
More important to what they have done for the community, is what the Leo program does for youth. Young men and women join Leos because of their friends or parents but they leave Leos as Leaders. The also get great Experiences working with the less fortunate and helping make the community and world a better place. These Opportunities and learning experiences better prepare our youth for the future to be productive citizens with a heart for service
It has been praised as a model by several Lions Club International presidents. There have been two International Leos of the Year from Seal Beach in the last five years.
Our Leos Club has the highest transition rate from Leo to Lion in the nation. As is most appropriate for our theme, "A Red, White & Blue Christmas," the community service pride is exemplified in our own Leos Club, which is why they are most deserving of this important recognition. Please join us as we celebrate our own Seal Beach Leos!