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“Everyday Saints” come in all shapes and sizes, and their incredible acts and accomplishments are just as diverse. We will be talking about some of our COS Everyday Saints here in The Messenger in 2023! Honoring our first Everyday Saint of the new year, Church of Our Saviour proudly recognizes the unique contributions of Peggy O’Leary, Queen of Parade Pooper Scoopers.

For millions of people around the world, Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses Parade is a New Year’s Day tradition. The Rose Parade travels 5 ½ miles down Colorado Blvd, featuring floral-decorated floats, bands and, of course, equestrian units. Behind those horses trot the real heroes of the parade – the Parade Pooper Scoopers, performing their duty (yes, I said it) of scooping up the poop.

Peggy first started scooping in 1990 and has not missed a parade since, save for when the parade was canceled because of the pandemic. With over three decades of volunteer service, she is now joined by her husband, our COS Senior Warden John Vandercook, and COS Treasurer David Waller. This was John’s second year volunteering, and David’s first!

“We looked like Pillsbury Doughboys,” Peggy said, referring to the team’s white overall uniforms. Peggy accessorizes her outfit with a matching scarf and gloves, topped with a floral crown she makes herself. David and John followed Peggy’s lead, jazzing up their uniforms with brightly colored scarves.

Peggy’s favorite part of her job is playfully engaging with the crowd. After each equine deposit is successfully scooped, she bows with a flourish.

“The entire crowd erupts in cheering,” beamed Peggy. “It’s magical.”

Peggy, John, and David are excited for the year 2023, especially after such a magical start.

“If we all greeted people for the remainder of the year as we do on the New Year, the world would be a more joyful place,” Peggy observes.

We could all use the Queen of the Parade Pooper Scoopers’ wisdom and exuberance. Congratulations to our COS Everyday Saint for January. Happy New Year!

CLICK HERE to read more about Peggy in an article published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune!

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