The Sun Lakes Fourth of July Golf Cart Parade has been a mainstay of tradition for many many years. But it was not always that way.

Apparently, the board in 1992 decided to do away with the parade for whatever reasons they had at the time.

Residents Jack and Daphne Vodrey were saddened by this decision and rallied their Boca West neighborhood together to hold a Fourth of July golf cart parade of their own.

It was a huge success and the parade was reinstated, continuing without interruption to this day.

It was the spirit of the act that was special at the time, and the parade has grown and evolved over the years.

Their daughter, Diane Bainbridge says, “My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Canada in the 1950s and held their United States citizenship in high regard.

They were very proud Americans and were not afraid or too complainant to show their patriotism.”

Over the years the Vodrey family has participated in every Sun Lakes parade with children, grandchildren and family pets.

When Daphne passed away in 2001 Jack continued the tradition and had family members competing to ride shotgun in the cart. “Dad never missed a parade since the day they changed the board’s decision,” Bainbridge stated proudly. “He was always a happy participant wearing his three point commander hat and he decorated his cart the same every year except the one year we talked him into a surfing safari theme complete with Jacks grandson Cale riding a skateboard pulled by the cart. That year he did win an award and was so pleased.”

In this year’s parade the Vodrey family again participated, but sadly without their commander in Chief; Jack passed away on March 7th. “

As our parents pass away we are left with memories, but also with what made them special. The Sun Lakes golf cart parade is part of our family’s history and we will cherish the memories forever.” Their act is proof that grassroots American spirit is alive and well!  Sometimes it only takes a single voice to make a change.

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