McHugh named grand marshal of Bay Ridge St. Patrick Parade
A bank executive with a strong commitment to Catholic education has been selected to serve as the grand marshal of the 23rd annual Bay Ridge Saint Patrick Parade to take place next month.
James B. McHugh, senior vice president of Signature Bank and a former chairman of the board of directors at St. Anselm Catholic Academy, will lead the parade on Sunday, March 20.
McHugh was officially introduced as the grand marshal of the 2016 parade at a meet and greet event hosted by parade President Frankie Marra and Vice President Linda Gallagher at the Greenhouse Café on Third Avenue on Sunday. Eileen Brett, the parade’s financial secretary, organized the afternoon gathering. Committee members Barbara Slattery and Brendan Moloney were also on hand to congratulate McHugh.
In addition to announcing McHugh as the grand marshal, the committee also introduced the deputy grand marshals: Brian Kelly, Patrick Harkin, Peter Whelan, Rita Galvin, Rhea McCone, Maura Coughlin, Kathy Burke and the Canny Brothers Band.
“We have a great group of honorees this year,” Marra said.
The parade, featuring hundreds of school children and dozens of Irish step dancers, bagpipe bands and colorful floats, begins at the intersection of Third and Marine avenues and proceeds along Third Avenue to Bay Ridge Avenue.
Under Marra’s leadership, the parade committee expanded its core mission of promoting cultural contributions of Irish-Americans to awarding scholarships to local students to promote Catholic education.
Last year, Marra and the committee announced the introduction of the Bay Ridge St. Patrick Parade Education Fund, which awards merit-based scholarships to eighth-graders who intend to attend Catholic high schools.
Each student is awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
“The idea behind it is to promote Catholic education,” Marra told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The students have to make a commitment to go to a Catholic high school. The check is written to the high school.”
Marra, who has headed the parade committee for five years, also told the Eagle that the 2016 Bay Ridge St. Patrick Parade will be his last as president. “I’m stepping down after this year. The parade has grown. And we established the scholarships. I feel I’ve done what I set out to do,” he said.
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