The 2016 Honorary Grand Marshal is…

This program is sponsored by

sponsor-gbc

Fort Myers, Florida, February 2 – The Edison Festival of Light Committee and program sponsor Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz are proud to announce Deputy Mike Zazwirsky as the Honorary Grand Marshal of the Grand Parade of Light set to take place on February 20th.

Nominations were submitted by community members wishing to recognize exemplary altruistic individuals. The Rotary Club of Fort Myers nominated Deputy Zazwirsky. Finalists included Deputy Zazwirsky, Take Stock in Children Mentor of the Year Gary Avin, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters Board member Ben Simmons. The public placed online votes to determine the Honorary Grand Marshal.

Zazwirsky is a 12 year veteran of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office currently assigned in the North District of Lee County. Throughout his professional career and his personal life, Deputy Zazwirsky has been serving those in the community. One example of his dedication is his effort to coordinate a holiday food drive that resulted in food for nearly 3,000 families! “Deputy Zazwirsky truly demonstrates what our profession is all about,” stated Sheriff Mike Scott. “Not only has he done wonderful things for the community when it comes to feeding the hungry. He also developed a juvenile arrest monitoring system that is being modeled throughout our agency.”

As Honorary Grand Marshal, Deputy Zazwirsky will be spotlighted in the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade. In addition, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz will make a contribution to a charity of Zazwirsky’s choice.

The Grand Parade of Light is a two-hour extravaganza featuring national & local marching bands, unique floats and giant balloons, local government and law enforcement officials and more. The parade, which has gained recognition as the largest night parade in the south east, brings the entire community out in celebration of the life and achievements of winter resident, Thomas Edison. This event is FREE to the public and will take place on February 20th beginning at Fort Myers High School at 7:00 pm and concluding in the downtown River District. A Grand Parade Party and concert on the river with live entertainment the day of the parade is also FREE to the public! The fun begins at 11am!

Vote for the 2016 Honorary Grand Marshal

This program is sponsored by
Goldstein, Buckley, Chechman, Rice and Purtz
We received an overwhelming amount of nominations this year for such deserving individuals who truly help to make our community a better place. The committee was tasked with the grueling challenge of narrowing down the pool of candidates for the public vote. Below you can read a little about each of the finalists before placing your vote for the 2016 Honorary Grand Marshal.

The winner will ride in the Grand Parade of Light on February 20th, which sees over 200,000 participants and attendees!

Deputy Zazwirsky is a 12 year veteran of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. In 2014 Deputy Zazwirsky began “Fighting Holiday Hunger” to provide food to families in need. More than 750 families were fed for the Thanksgiving holiday and over 2,000 families during the Christmas holiday. Deputy Zazwirsky’s plan to impact more than a couple families impacted over 2,750 families. Additionally, Deputy Zazwirsky developed a juvenile arrest monitoring system and has been a key component in reducing juvenile crime by over 20% within the North District.

Benjamin (Ben) Simmons currently serves on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lee County and through his years of service has assisted the professional staff in both fundraising and recruiting “Bigs” to be mentors for children facing adversity. Under Ben’s leadership, the organization has grown from a startup with no operations to serving over 250 children last year. In addition, Mr. Simmons also mentors small business owners and non-profits for Southwest Florida SCORE by utilizing his expertise to provide guidance and resources to help them succeed and thrive.

Gary Avin was the 2014 Mentor of the Year for the Take Stock in Children. Mr. Avin has a passion for helping local youth to inspire to become productive members in the community and currently serves as the head coach for the Lee County Hawks U6 youth football team. In November, the team won the Southwest Florida Football League championship. Mr. Avin, through his guidance and mentorship, works to instill a lasting sense of responsibility in his mentees.

Please place your vote for the 2016 Honorary Grand Marshal.
Voting Deadline: January 31, 2016

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2015 Honorary Grand Marshal

77th anniversary celebration

Fort Myers, Florida – The Edison Festival of Light Committee and program sponsor Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz are proud to distinguish Kathryn Kelly as the Honorary Grand Marshal of the Grand Parade of Light set to take place on February 21st.

Nominations were submitted by community members wishing to recognize exemplary altruistic individuals and reviewed by the committee. Founder of the Heights Foundation, Kelly has made a lasting impact on the community through the foundation’s educational programs, holiday outreach events and more. Described by her peers as an inspiration, Kelley has been committed to improving the lives of those around her by helping to develop strong independent families in our community.

As Honorary Grand Marshal, Kelly will be spotlighted in the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade. In addition, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz will make a contribution to the Heights Foundation in Kelley’s honor.

The Grand Parade of Light is a two-hour extravaganza featuring national & local marching bands, unique floats and giant balloons, local government and law enforcement officials and more. The parade, which has gained recognition as the largest night parade in the south east, brings the entire community out in celebration of the life and achievements of winter resident, Thomas Edison. This event is FREE to the public and will take place on February 21st beginning at Fort Myers High School at 7:00 pm and concluding in the downtown River District. A Grand Parade Party and concert on the River with live entertainment the day of the parade is also FREE to the public! The fun begins at 11am!

Goldstein, Buckley, Chechman, Rice and Purtz