Twenty-four years ago, the Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Parade began with help from Mike Moran, former president of the Division 8 Ancient Order of Hibernians.
This year his daughter, Maureen Basdavanos, will carry on that tradition as its grand marshal.
Basdavanos, deputy mayor of Glen Cove, has always had a strong connection to the community, and to the parade she says, because of her late father.
“The parade was always like a holiday in our house, and I was always there in the background helping out,” Basdavanos said. “It is a real honor to have been named grand marshal.”
Basdavanos is involved with several community groups including the chamber of commerce, the Downtown Sounds Committee, Glen Cove Business Improvement District and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. She is also on the board of directors for Glen Cove C.A.R.E.S.
“I’ve always been drawn to helping people,” Basdavanos said. “In a way it’s like following in my dad’s footsteps, by doing good in the community, and being a good person.”
Joe McDonald, 42, president of the Division 8 Ancient Order of Hibernians, said the parade’s grand marshal needs to be someone who believes in the principles and causes of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and is connected to the community.
“She has done so much for the Irish community and for Glen Cove,” McDonald said. “Her name came up and Maureen was such a good fit. It’s a way to honor the whole family for everything they’ve done.”
Robert Lynch, 56, parade committee chairman and a family friend, said Basdavanos is like a tribute to the family tradition of being active in the community.
“There is an old Irish saying, she didn’t get it from the wind. She follows her parents’ example,” Lynch said.
Basdavanos grew up in the neighboring town of Sea Cliff with her parents, and moved to Glen Cove when she married Bill Basdavanos, former chief of the Glen Cove Volunteer Fire Department. They have two children, Sean, 28, of Long Beach, and Kelly, 18, who is in her senior year of Our Lady of Mercy Academy
The 24th annual Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday. It will begin in front Finley Middle School on Forest Avenue and end in front of St. Patrick’s Church.
“I’m going to march in my dad’s memory,” Basdavanos said. “He would have been so proud, I can only hope that I do half as much as he did in his life.”