DeFuniak Springs, FL…The LakeFest 2021 organizing group selected Gary Woodham, owner of the DeFuniak Springs Herald-Breeze as the grand marshal of the LakeFest 2021 parade scheduled for Saturday, May 15, 3pm on Circle Drive. Woodham is the third grand marshal followed by the City’s PIO Christopher Mitchell in 2018 and WMBB-TVs Amy Hoyt in 2019.
“As owner of our local paper, Gary has done so much for so many nonprofit organizations and the City of DeFuniak Springs,” says Mayor Bob Campbell, chair of LakeFest 2021 organizing group. “I can’t think of any local nonprofit that hasn’t benefitted in some way by Gary’s generosity of free publicity and support. During the past year, so many organizations and businesses suffered from COVID-related financial shortfalls, but Gary continued to assist with free publicity whenever possible. We are now seeing ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ with COVID, and we will never forget that Gary and his entire team was here for all of us before and during one of the most challenging times in our history.”
“I am humbled to be selected as Grand Marshall of LakeFest 2021 and to be a part of this festival celebrating recreational activities on a true gem in our community, Lake DeFuniak,” says Gary Woodham. “Growing up in a similar setting in Florala, Alabama, water activities on Lake Jackson, local creeks, ponds, rivers and lakes were a staple throughout my childhood.”
Woodham is the third generation in the family newspaper business getting his feet wet at The Florala News. After graduating from Auburn University, he has been associated with other family newspapers in Chickasaw, Alabama; Bonifay; Chipley; and Panama City Beach, Florida. His mother and father, Larry and Merle, purchased the DeFuniak Springs Herald – Breeze in 1970, of which he is the owner and publisher.
Woodham has been a Walton County resident for 40 years, moving to DeFuniak Springs in 1986. He and Cindy Woodham were blessed with three sons, Benjamin, Quinton and Austin, as well as three grandchildren, Zane, Isabella and Benjamin.