Grand Marshals know the spirit of community

The Grand Marshals for the Eagle Point 4th of July Parade are Nanci and Ray Watkins. Eagle Point would be hard-pressed to find two more giving, caring community members than this couple. Keep in mind as you read about their involvement that they also work at least full-time in their business which is Southern Oregon Sanitation where they manage 13 employees and a fleet of 18 trucks.

While they will ride in a car as Grand Marshals, immediately behind them will be a 1957 Chevy open body truck with members of the Eagle Point Rotary.  Pat Fahey, Nanci’s father, purchased the ‘57 Chevy brand new. He sold, repossessed it, sold it, and bought it back. Fahey started the sanitation business in Grants Pass in 1946.

Nanci and Ray joined the business in 1997. They spent the first six months in Grants Pass and then moved to Eagle Point as the Ball Road office opened that year. Over the years, the business has expanded and serves from Eagle Point to Crater Lake, including Butte Falls, Shady Cove, Trail and Prospect. And, as most know, the trucks have become automated at a cost of $250,000 each and recycling is a very much a part of the business.

A look at the list of community service seems to touch nearly every organization in the area. Perhaps the most visible project is their dedication to Avenue of the Flags. Part of the original volunteers, they had a trailer built and donated it to haul a good portion of Avenue of the Flags. You will see it early in the parade line up this Sunday clearly marked Avenue of the Flags in large letters on the side.

Nanci is an active member of the Eagle Point Rotary and a member of the Eagle Point Chamber of Commerce.  Ray is on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club.

Their support of the Eagle Point Community Association is evident as they have been largely responsible for the Christmas tree lights through the Memory Light program.

They work with Shady Cove groups on river cleanup, sponsor Hazmat and paint cleanup programs, and are very involved in a group called Delta Waterfowl. This group does considerable work to improve and keep up Denman Refuge. Building bridges, fences, houses for birds and, of course, collecting garbage, is all part of that ongoing project.

They participate in StandDown and probably other organizations and projects.

“Eagle Point is really unique. The Eagle Point Community Association provides the culture for the community,” said Nanci, as she thought about all the activities the group is associated with.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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