A MESSAGE FROM
YOUR PATRIOTS DAY PARADE PRESIDENT, Charles Quilter
On behalf of the Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade Association,
I welcome you to our 51st Annual Patriots Day Parade.
Our theme this year is “One America.” On the seal of our nation is written the Latin phrase, E Pluribus Unum, which means “From Many, One”. It celebrates the idea that the citizens of our nation and community come from all walks of life. Our differences are reflected in the practice of democracy during the election process. After the people’s voice has been heard and our elected representatives assume their offices, we believe it is good to remind ourselves once again that there is but one nation, the United States of America. More simply put, we proudly say: “One America.”
We are fortunate that we have so many outstanding persons with Laguna Beach ties whom we can honor. Our Grand Marshals are sisters Aria Fischer and Makenzie Fischer who have led the Laguna Beach High School girls water polo team to unprecedented consecutive championships. Despite their youth, they were chosen as members of the U.S. team in last year’s Olympic Games in Rio that went on to dominate and brought home the Gold Medal to America. Our Honored Patriot Major Robert W. Sternfels USAAF is one of the Greatest Generation who answered the call to fight Nazism. At a time when things were not going well for the U.S. in World War II, Bob was pilot of the legendary B-24 Liberator “Sandman,” flying unescorted missions to knock out strategic targets. The losses to his air group were so high that within two years of enlisting as a private, he was a major commanding a squadron and once had to step up to lead the entire 15th Air Force on a critical mission.
Our Citizen of the Year is the multi-talented artist, musician, and photographer Douglas Miller who, through his art, has captured the essence of who we are as a community and in so doing has become one of our most beloved residents. Our two Junior Citizens, Madison Sinclair and Wyatt Shipp are members of Laguna Beach High’s Class of 2017 and represent the many fine young people in our town. Our Artist of the Year is John Barber who rediscovered the lost art of making lustre glass and whose work is now in collections around the world. You can read about all of them in the following pages and on our website at lagunabeachparade.org.
The Patriots Day Parade Association is an all-volunteer group that works for six months each year to bring together all the elements that make up our parade. Christopher Tomlin serves as our Vice President. Our Treasurer Sandi Werthe has played a key role for many years not only in managing our finances and handling parade entries, but producing this program. Michelle Clark is our Secretary. The City of Laguna Beach provides support and we especially thank Adam Gufarotti, Mariann Tracy and Jim Beres, who steer us through the official waters of the City. Our committee includes American Legion liaisons Jean Law and Frank Daniel. Sande St. John is hospitality chair. Don Black is in charge of our marvelous VIP cars. Sandi Werthe is our liaison with the school district for the essay and cover art contests. Our webmaster is Jim Rue and Ed Hanke is our chief starter.
On Parade Day we count on the check-in team of Elizabeth Tomlin and Michelle Clark. Our marshallers are Kathy Hanke, Michael Lyons, Kathleen and Tom Fay. Eugene “Diz” D’Isabella and I are in charge of the reviewing stand setup; Jay Andrus controls the dispersal area. Jerry Ford helps the Larson Lighting and Audio team set up our public address systems. Our announcers are John Kountz at City Hall and Jim Rue at the library. John also heads our Laguna Beach Emergency Communications Team of talented amateur radio operators. Douglas Miller is our official photographer and many of the photos in this program are his work. Historic parade photos have been provided by Rick Lang and Jim Nordstrom. Marvin Johnson, Ed Hanke and the Boy Scouts of Troop 35 are our “No Parking” sign team, and the Police Explorer Scouts help with traffic control. Johnny Fotsch is our car judge. John Campbell takes care of our insurance requirements. A very big thanks goes to QSC, maker of audio equipment, who were very generous with a grant.
In addition, we give special thanks to LBHS student Jared Ghetian, who won our High School contest for the cover art on this program. Our essay winner is Thurston Middle School student Claire Tigner. Union Bank and
our parade association have provided each winner with a $100 award.
Thanks to Tivoli Too! for providing a place for our awards ceremony.
That’s our team! We hope you have a great day at the parade!
Charles Quilter, President
Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade Association
Bill Schuster, 2004 Honored Patriot
Marian Bergeson, 1982 Grand Marshal
Vern Spitaleri, 1996 Honored Patriot
Eugene (Dom) D'Isabella, committee member