DOWNEY – Longtime volunteer Maria Larkin has retired from her post as chairman of the Downey Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade committee. Larkin chaired the committee for 14 years, starting in 2000.
She was instrumental in the “huge success of the parade year after year and her presence as a volunteer leader will be deeply missed,” the chamber said in a statement.
“This is certainly the end of an era not only for the Chamber but for the committee.”
Larkin’s committee partner, longtime parade announcer Marsha Moode, has also announced that she will step down from her role in the parade.
Moode has sat alongside Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe as co-anchors for the parade for the past 23 years. Moode also produced the filming of the parade with such notables as John Croshaw, Congressman Del M. Clawson and Broadway producer Joseph Culliton.
Larkin said her best parade memory was the last one, with people waving to her from the crowd as she rode down the streets of Downey Avenue for the last time.
Larkin said she also remembers the first Downey Chamber Christmas parade when her children were very small and “how excited they were to see the festivities.”
The parade was previously put on by another service group, but when that organization decided they weren’t going to continue with the parade, Larkin decided that was the time she needed to step up and take on this event.
“We thank Maria for her many years of success not only with the Parade Committee but also as past president of the Chamber Board,” said Elizabeth Trombley, president of the Chamber board of directors. “Maria has been triumphant in every role she played at the Chamber as a volunteer.”
Published: Feb. 12, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 44