Wedels and VFW to be honored at Rose Festival
Last updated 8/14/2023 at 6:44am
The Charles Wedel family will lead the 2023 Wasco Rose Festival as grand marshals, and Wasco VFW Post 6742 will be the honorary grand marshals, organizers announced last week.
The Orange Heart Foundation and Wasco Rose Festival committee announced the selections late last month.
"We are excited to honor the late Charles Wedel and his family, as well as the VFW for their years of service to our community," Orange Heart Foundation secretary/Wasco Rose Festival group member Orquidea Ocampo said.
"Last year, we established the honorary grand marshal component to recognize the selflessness of groups and organizations in Wasco. Unfortunately, VFW is closing, but we are honored to highlight their contributions to Wasco from 1946 through 2023."
Commander James Medrano shared, "We are honored and flattered by this honor. It has been a privilege to be supported by and give back to this community."
He said it started in 1946.
"We used to have VFW parades and rodeos at the ballpark," Medrano recalled.
Over the years, they continued with their service by sponsoring Rose Queen candidates, Little League baseball teams, the Boy Scouts, the city's fireworks festival, the Relay for Life cancer walk, a youth Patriot's Pen essay contest, and honored the flag at high school athletic games.
"We also visited soldier's wives for support when their loved ones were off to war," Medrano said.
Similarly, the Wedel family has demonstrated a long tradition of public service in Wasco.
"Our family has been involved in the community of Wasco in a variety of ways. Multiple family members have served on boards dating back to the '70s, which include Semitropic School, Wasco Parks and Recreation, Wasco Little League, Wasco Babe Ruth, Wasco High Football Boosters and Wasco Youth Wrestling," Jeff Wedel said.
"Family members have also coached and/or are currently coaching youth and high school sports, including WHS cheer, golf, football, baseball and softball teams."
When asked how he felt about the recognition, Wedel said, "We're deeply humbled to be recognized as the 2023 grand marshals and are honored to represent my dad's legacy. He would be so proud, and I know he is smiling down on us."
Wedel said his family has carried out his father's legacy because they value the small town.
"And the opportunities it allows us to give back, whether in the classroom teaching or on the playing field coaching."
He said his father left them a legacy of giving back.
"My dad led by example by instilling in us to always show others kindness and let your hard work speak for itself."
Wedel said Wasco is simply home.
"For three generations, farming laid the foundation for our family to become deep-rooted in Wasco. The next two generations developed a deep love for education and returned to our alma mater to give back to our community."
The Charles Wedel family and Wasco VFW Post 6742 will be honored Friday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. "Wine and Roses Under the Stars" event, sponsored by the Wasco Elk Ladies.
They will participate in the parade, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m.