"Waves of Freedom"

President's Message

Chgristopher Tomlin


On behalf of the Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade Association, I welcome you to our 52nd Annual Patriots Day Parade. Our theme this year is “Waves of Freedom.”  Our community is located on the Pacific coast, so waves have always been a part of our lives.  Indeed, the flag waving above the shore at Monument Point is an iconic image of Laguna Beach.  That image reminds us how freedom has grown in our nation since its founding in 1776.  Beginning with the Bill of Rights in our Constitution, we can trace our “waves of freedom” through its amendments such as the right to due process, the abolition of slavery, and the granting of voting rights to women and minorities.  Waves ebb and flow and that is why we believe that the many freedoms in our republic should be treasured and never taken for granted.

We are fortunate that we have so many outstanding persons with Laguna Beach ties whom we can honor.  Our Grand Marshal is Gloria Fickling who is the co-author of the wildly popular detective series, Honey West, that has inspired a generation of young women.  Our Honored Patriot George Ciampa is one of the Greatest Generation who as a soldier in the Second World War was entrusted with the solemn and unimaginably difficult duty of caring for the bodies of those killed-in-action from D-Day in Normandy to the last days of Nazi Germany.

Our Citizen of the Year is long-time resident Heidi Miller who has been an incredibly heroic example of “no greater love” of literally giving of herself.  Our two Junior Citizens, Marisa Schatz and Joseph Ravenna are members of Laguna Beach High’s Class of 2018 and represent the many fine young people in our town.  Our Artists of the Year is the Laguna Art Museum, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.  The Athletes of the Year are the Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation that has brought glory to our community by training girls in the that grueling sport who have won gold medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2017 Junior Olympics.  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. Charlie Quilter serves as our Vice-president, writes the text in this program, and will be color announcer live on KX 93.5 during the parade.  Sandi Werthe, our treasurer, is our longest serving volunteer who handles a myriad of duties and without her, the parade simply would not happen.  Frank Daniel is our secretary amid his many other service activities in our community.

The City of Laguna Beach provides support and we especially thank Adam Gufarotti, Mariann Tracy, and Jim Beres, who efficiently help us in the many official matters involving the parade.  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, Revan Tomlin, Janice Hayden, Kathleen and Tom Fay.  Eugene “Diz” D’Isabella and Charlie Quilter are in charge of the reviewing stand setup; Jay Andrus controls the dispersal area.  Larson Lighting and Audio team sets 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. 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.  Rick Lang drives our parade shuttle and Johnny Fotsch and Will Nighswonger are our car judges.  John Campbell takes care of our insurance requirements.

In addition, we give special thanks to LBHS student Jackson Pihl, who won our High School contest for the cover art on this program.  Our essay winner is Thurston Middle School student Alexandra KeyserUnion Bank and U.S. Bank 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!

Christopher Tomlin, President

Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade Association


Walter Rening, 2006 Honored Patriot

Stu Saffer, 2016 Citizen of Year

Sunny Rhodes, 1988 Parade President

Robert W. Sternfels, 2017 Honored Patriot



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Last updated February 27, 2018