2018 Grand Marshal and Junior Grand Marshal
2018 Grand Marshal - Esther Kenyan
Even though being a native Iowan, Esther considers herself a true Californian, having resided in the Golden State for the last 61 years. During that time, she married, had two daughters, Karen and Christy, and now has two grandchildren, the delight of her life, Jackson (19) and Melody (22). She resides in Hawaiian Gardens, but comments, “Living in Seal Beach is my fondest dream, but until that day, I find great joy in just being involved in many activities and organizations in Seal Beach which brings me to this wonderful little village by the sea many times a week. As a friend of her's once said, “Esther, you sleep in Hawaiian Gardens, you live in Seal Beach!”
Retirement came in 2004, but she was pleased to re-enter the business field again in 2011, by accepting the CEO position at the Seal Beach Chamber. “It was such a pleasure working with the Chamber,” says Esther, “ in an organizational capacity and putting some new programs in place, notably, the Chamber’s Ambassador program. Working with the Seal Beach City Council on the Main Street Tree Project, the installation of flower planters and new street lighting was very rewarding.” For her services to the Chamber and the City, upon her retirement from the CEO position of the Chamber, she received recognition at the 2012 Chamber Board Inauguration Dinner and received a Certificate of Appreciation for Civic Service, City Council of Seal Beach and Certificate of Recognition for Sea Beach Chamber Service and City of Seal Beach, California Legislative Assembly. After her Chamber CEO tenure, Esther continued her Chamber volunteer activities, participating in the Classic Car show, the Health Expo, the Christmas Tree lighting and other various business oriented committees, all geared to civic and business enhancement while also writing a monthly Chamber Business Profile for the Sun News, presently, a 6-year stint. In the September, 2018 Chamber Board Inauguration breakfast, in recognition of her Chamber volunteer activities, she received The “Seal Beach Community Volunteer Emeritus and Heart of our Community Award,” created especially for her.
It was a persistence to promote music culture in Seal Beach, that in 2014, Esther formed a volunteer non-profit organization, The Seal Beach Community Performing Arts Association, whose purpose is to promote numerous cultural activities, including music concerts, dance, drama, opera, children’s theater and more. This organization gave its first community offering in August, 2014, establishing “Sunday in the Park with Shakespeare,” a free evening performance in Eisenhower Park of “A Mid- Summer Night’s Dream,” with 1000 attendees. The performance in 2018 will mark it’s 5th season of a Shakespeare play. The organization also has a concert series throughout the year for the general public. With the completion of the renovation of the Bay Theatre, it is envisioned that future concerts will be held in the theater. Worthy of note, the Seal Beach Community Performing Arts Association’s “Sunday in the Park with Shakespeare” was voted the Gold Award as the “2018 Best Cultural Event in Seal Beach.”
“In my 85 years of life," comments Esther, "I have led a varied, wonderful and exciting life, always persisting to volunteer and bring change for the good to any organization to which I belonged and also for the betterment of my community. Being chosen as the Grand Marshall of the 2018 Seal Beach Christmas Parade is a capstone in my life and I feel most humbled and honored to be recognized by the very special community of Seal Beach.”
2018 Junior Grand Marshal - Chelsea Linton
Chelsea Linton is a 14 year old who attends Los Alamitos High School. She is a part of the Seal Beach LEOs Club, and has been for the past five years, where she is on the board of directors. In addition to being a LEO, she has been a Miss Seal Beach titleholder four times. Over the years of her volunteer work, she has participated in several community service projects, such as Sailing for the Blind, Band on the Sand and her favorite, the Seal Beach Fish Fry. Her admiration for helping her community is never ending, which is shown with over 2,000 hours of community service. Currently, one of Chelsea's community service projects is a fundraiser for her two platforms, Dysautonia International and the National Fibromyalgia Association, which she is hoping to expand into her own nonprofit organization. In the future, Chelsea is hopes to be a pediatric physical therapist for children with disabilities and developmental delays. Chelsea Linton is a young woman who is dedicating herself to serving, not only Seal Beach, but everywhere.
"I am very humbled and honored to be awarded Junior Grand Marshall. It means a lot to know that people appreciate the work and dedication I have in serving my community."
"I have learned and experienced so much from being a part of the LEOs organization, from learning how to make grilled fish to leading blind and visually impaired people onto sailboats. These past years with the LEOs have been truly rewarding and I would not trade it for anything."
"Being Junior Grand Marshall at this year's Christmas parade, reminds me how much I have to be thankful for. I am so thankful for my family, friends, fellow Leos and Lions, my Miss Seal Beach sisters, and my astonishing community."