Grand Marshal


Congratulations Peggy Carey

2019 Grand Marshal


Peggy Carey - 2019 Grand MarshalThe Parade Committee is deeply honored to announce the 2019 Grand Marshal for the Bend Christmas Parade is Oregon native, Peggy Carey.  Peggy will be riding in a red Lexus along with 2 students from The Academy at Sisters. Peggy was born in Roseburg and grew up in Lake Oswego.  She started her education in art, but moved to nursing after a dear friend was seriously injured in a car accident.  Peggy spent that next year helping her friend through this terrible time and this changed the course of her studies into nursing.  Peggy received a BSN from Southern Oregon State College and master’s degree in Public Health Care Administration from Lewis & Clark.
Peggy moved to Bend after college in 1971.  She later married Tom, her high school sweetheart, in 1977.  They had 1 daughter Heather who’s married (to Ty) with 2 children, making her the very proud grandmother of Ryker (9 years) and Carsyn (9 months). St. Charles is where Peggy started her nursing career.  As she excelled and built her nursing skills, Peggy was selected as the first Cancer Services Director for the Hospital and given the mission to develop a suite of services for cancer patients and their families.  Among these services, Peggy spearheaded the Sara Fisher Breast Project raising awareness about the increasing incidence of breast cancer and the need for screening and early detection services that helped underserved women and gave support information to women with a breast cancer diagnosis. 
Peggy created a regional network of public and private service providers to raise awareness, support and service for underserved women.  These efforts helped mobilize communities to work together to receive federal funding to provide screening services to women across the state.  The collaborations continued and the region was solidified around helping citizens obtain education, prevention, screening and treatment.  Other specialties followed the model and Central Oregon became known as a place where people worked together for the betterment of the community.
At the state level, Peggy chaired the Oregon Breast & Cervical Cancer Coalition which encouraged public and private collaboration across all counties and state programs.  As part of her community service, Peggy served on the Central Oregon Health Council, the Board of Directors for Hospice of Bend-La Pine (now Partners in Care), where she led the capitol campaign to build Hospice House.
Through her vision and grassroot efforts, the Bend Ronald McDonald House was built – adding a continuum of services for families with a child in the hospital or needing long-term care.  This home-away-from-home for kids and their families has enriched numerous lives over the years.  Saying good-bye to Central Oregon, Peggy moved to Colorado in 2010 to lead the Shaw Cancer Center for Vail Valley Medical Center.  There she continued to build community support for patients and families by founding PINK VAIL, the largest ski day to conquer cancer.  The project has raised more than $2M dollars to date for cancer patients. 
Returning home in 2016, Peggy shifted gears and is now Director of Strategic Initiatives for J Bar J Youth Services where she is using her vast experience to build awareness of youth needs in Central Oregon.  Today, she is championing the development of a Vocational Training Program for the boys at J Bar J and rallying the community to get behind this life changing program for these young adults.
Over the years Peggy has mentored students, championed multiple projects and generously donated her time by serving on numerous committees and boards. She has received many awards for this service, including the Visionary Leadership Award from St. Charles, The Robert Wood Johnson Community Leadership Award and the Bend Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year to name a few.  This year Peggy was honored with the Life Time Achievement Award from the Bend Chamber of Commerce.
When asked what drives her to give so much, she said “Nursing is a place where you need to bring your whole self, your head and heart to the problem solving of patient care. And I wanted to build up others to help serve patients and families, bringing people together to enrich all lives touched by cancer. At J Bar J I see the promise in all these young people. It’s my inspiration to connect these kids with opportunity to reach their full potential.”
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For parade information call Ernie Gilpin at 541-388- 3879.

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Dina Barker
Publicist Bend Christmas Parade

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