By Sandi Latimer
Westland’s annual Independence Day Parade, traditionally held the Saturday prior to July 4, will be staged June 27.
The parade route, which has gone down Broad Street in recent years, has been moved to Beacon Hill because of construction on Broad Street. It will start at 10 a.m.
The parade, led by Grand Marshal Thomas J. David, will form at North Murray Hill and continue to Pasadena where units will turn left and disband at Broad Street.
The parade is sponsored by the Westland Area Business Association. Parade chair Nancy Day-Achauer is seeking units to be a part of the parade, especially color guards.
“I was surprised that historically there were no color guards,” she said.
This year’s theme is ‘Celebrate Our Diversity’ and Dau-Achauer said that means more than race and ethnicity.
“It’s all the different things the residents of this community do,” she said.
Political units are charged a $50 entry fee; businesses $30 and nonprofits $10.
Anyone wishing to be in the parade may contact WABA at email@example.com or through their Facebook page.
For David, to be leading the parade is a little different for him. As an artist, he has worked on the entry from the Lincoln Village Assisted Living Center and stepped aside to let other residents ride on the float.
His career as an industrial engineer/graphical designer brought him many awards. He also helped in designing medical equipment and products, including the CAT scan machine. But art has always been his passion.
Even though he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the early 1990s, he continued his volunteer services at Riverside Hospital. Three days a week for five years, he conducted art therapy sessions with cancer patients. He also served as a patient escort.
He has led art classes for residents at the assisted living center, worked on their holiday parade float, and decorated a blank wall at the center with a mural. David also offers to do a variety of other tasks at the center, despite the fact that a stroke he suffered in 2014 has made walking difficult.
The center recently nominated the 73-year-old David for the Central Ohio Area on Aging Hall of Fame.