HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS PARADE HONORS FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPTAIN AND PARADE FOUNDERS AS GRAND MARSHALS
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FIREFIGHTER CAPTAIN AND PARADE FOUNDER AS GRAND MARSHALS
Glendale, Ariz. – Capt. Anthony Valverde, paramedic and 18-year veteran of the Glendale Fire Department, has been named Grand Marshal of the 9th Annual Hometown Christmas Parade and Food Drive, culminating with the parade on Saturday, December 10 at 11:00 am am in downtown Glendale, Arizona. In addition, Don Mellon and Dr. Walt Kallestad, who co-founded the parade in 2012 with Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers, will be the Honorary Grand Marshals.
ABOUT THE GRAND MARSHAL
Captain Valverde has been married to his beautiful wife Micaela for 16 years and they have three wonderful children. On Mother’s Day this year, Captain Valverde was with his family at Lake Pleasant when they came across a family in a small boat that was about to capsize. One of the elderly family members lay unconscious in the water and was tangled in the rope. The Valverde family immediately began providing assistance. They exonerated the family member, who was trying to keep the woman afloat by cutting the rope and then holding the woman until the Peoria fireboat arrived. Once the woman was treated, they helped the family into their boat and brought her safely to shore.
ABOUT THE VOLUNTEER GRAND MARSHALS
Don Mellon moved to Arizona in 1974. In 1980 he opened his first McDonald’s franchise. He has received numerous awards, including the Business of the Year award in 2007, the Phoenix Business Journal – Small Business of the Year award in 2008, and was named honorary commander of Luke Air Force Base in 2010. Valley Walked Don 2020 to retire. He said all the McDonald’s he owned belonged to God. What he thought 50 years ago was a cul-de-sac part-time job has become a passion that glorifies God.
dr Walt Kallestad grew up in a pastor’s home. After graduating from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, he served 38 years as an ordained Lutheran pastor at Community Church of Joy (now Dream City Church). He came to Community Church of Joy in Glendale with a clarion call and a passion to build a church for people who didn’t attend church. He continues to look for leaders and servants who desperately need the Lord. Walt is also involved in mentoring pastors and business leaders and runs a gas and oil company that supplies gasoline and diesel to Mexico.
ABOUT THE PARADE
All are invited to the 9th Annual Hometown Christmas Parade in downtown Glendale on Saturday, December 10th to enjoy the family-friendly celebrations that will take place between 52nd and 58th Avenues. Spectators of all ages are encouraged to find a seat before the parade begins at 11:00 am and enjoy entries highlighting local schools, service organizations and businesses. The parade has become a tradition and the committee that runs this event every year is very proud of it. The purely volunteer group is made up of representatives from non-profit organizations, religious organizations, businesses, individuals and the City of Glendale. Although the parade takes place in Glendale, the event has participants and sponsors from across the valley, all focused on one thing: celebrating the reason for the season.
ABOUT THE FOOD DRIVE
It’s all for a good cause! Last year, organizers of the Hometown Christmas Parade donated $30,000 to the Hope for Hunger Food Bank (https://phoenixrescuemission.org/hope-for-hunger) in Glendale. Currently, the Hope for Hunger Food Bank provides emergency food, case management and job assistance to more than 300 families every day. The goal of the parade this year is an even bigger donation, so spectators are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to the parade or make a cash donation online at www.hcparade.org/food-drive.