RINCON — When the Rincon Noon Lions Club enters its discussions of the grand marshal of its Christmas Parade, it seeks someone who has made a difference in the community.
This year, it chose someone who has given unselfishly of her time and talents for decades.
Julie Hales will serve as grand marshall of Saturday’s 40th Annual Rincon Lions Club Christmas Parade. She has been involved with every level of volunteering in many local organizations and is always ready to lend a hand.
“I came as quite a shock when I was asked,” Hales said. “I don’t think I have ever been more humbled. It took a minute for me to actually grasp that they were asking me to be the Grand Marshal.
“This is an amazing honor.”
“We wanted to support someone who supports our community in such an impactful way,” Lions Club member Destiny Bradshaw said. “She has a very philanthropic spirit and gives back to local charities that are close to her heart.”
Currently, Hales serves on the United Way Board of Directors, the Josh Reddick Foundation Board, the Effingham County Sports Hall of Fame Board, the Effingham Health System (EHS) Patient Advisory Council and the EHS Foundation Board of Directors.
Hales has a long list of charitable commitments and contributions. She has served on the Effingham YMCA Board and the Effingham Victim Witness Board. She was the Effingham chair for the American Diabetes Association’s Kiss-A-Pig annual campaign and served as chair of the American Heart Association Cardiac Arrest for two years in a row. She has also been the Campaign chair for United Way Effingham twice.
When it comes to helping youth in our community, Hales has always been on board. She founded the WAAK (We’re All About Kids) Optimist Club where she served as founding president. This organization helps at-risk children and those who may be less fortunate than others.
Hales also started a mentoring program at Springfield Elementary School and was named “Volunteer of the Year” for her work at the school. She has also been involved over the years as a volunteer at the Treutlan House.
She is a former member of Rincon Noon Lions Club and the Effingham County Chamber Ambassador Team, where she served as chair in the first year of its inception and was subsequently named “Ambassador of the Year.”
An Effingham native, Hales attended Effingham County High School and Armstrong State College. After working in Savannah for years, she secured a position in Effingham County at the Effingham Herald. She is the founder of Effinghan Magazine. She recently sold her business in order to be home and take care of my mother.
Hales received her Real Estate license in 2005 and is a full-time Realtor after starting on a parttime basis. She currently works with Coldwell Banker Intercoastal Realty in Rincon.
“I am honored to be the grand marshal,” she said. “I can’t wait to see our community come together in the spirit of Christmas. The Lions Club always puts on a great parade and I am excited to be a part of it.”
“I hope to see you all there,” she added.
Saturday’s parade on Columbia Aveneue will start at 10 a.m.