The 43-year owner of the family-run Otis Ford, of Quogue, has been named as the 2013 Westhampton Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal.
Tom Otis, a life-long resident of Quogue, was given the honor this week after a vote of the Westhampton Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade committee, which is headed up by parade committee President Tim Laube.
"The committee recognized Tom's good work with Maureen's Haven in helping the homeless, as well as his commitment in helping the Quogue Fire Department not only as a member for 35 years, but as an organizer of fundraising events."
In addition, Laube said that as a past president of the Westhampton Rotary, Otis has co-chaired the annual Rotary golf outing, helping to raise over a half a million dollars. He also served as a 16-year member of the Quogue School Board — 13 of those years as president — and he has served on two Westhampton Presbyterian Church boards and was a lieutenant in the National Guard.
"I am very excited about it," said Otis. "It was something I was approached about a long time ago, but I was not ready to do it. This is now an honor for me and my family."
Otis said he loves the community that he and his children have grown up in and has never looked for a pat on the back for the work he has done.
"I am an involved community person and I do it from the inside," he said.
Otis will lead the parade as the 47th grand marshal on March 9, said Laube, noting that the parade date had to be moved this year because it conflicted with the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is set for March 16.
"Many of the pipe bands that march with us also march in the New York City parade and in an effort to accommodate our pipers, we rescheduled," said Laube, adding, "A St. Patrick's Day parade without pipe bands is like a corned beef sandwich without mustard — it's just not the same."
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