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Order of the Cascaron   San Antonio TX  

Biographies by

Paul Rossbach

MEET

OUR

MEMBERS

2008 to 2012

2008

RICHARD URIEGAS

Rick grew up on San Antonio’s Westside and continues to reside in that part of the City as an active community leader.  His early Fiesta involvements included board positions associated with Oyster Bake and the Miss Fiesta Pageant while keeping his primary focus on the Westside.  There he and his sister created Pinatas in the Barrio in the late 1990s as an affordable means for area residents, particularly senior citizens, to participate in Fiesta merriment.  The event includes its own poster and poster unveiling ceremony, and a Senior Citizen King and Queen of the Barrio.  Rick is also a founder of the event’s sponsoring organization, Action United for Entertainers and Diverse Artists (AUEDA), its goal being “to provide assistance to the artistic and entertainment community to include all ages, genders and artistic mediums” through scholarships and other services. 

VIRGINIA VAN CLEAVE

Virginia had amassed a long list of FSAC and PMO leadership positions, most especially with the Alamo Mission Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) and its annual Pilgrimage to the Alamo during Fiesta, an event that began in 1925, and other Chapter activities.  But as a native San Antonian and with so many Fiesta associations to her credit, Virginia was surprised how little many other city residents knew about the origins of and reasons for the city’s annual Fiesta celebration.  Surprise led to concern and that in turn led to Virginia’s active involvement in creating a new DRT chapter in 1996 which would be dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Texas history, including the history of Fiesta.  The Alamo Couriers Chapter, as the new entity was named, consists primarily of teachers, authors and historians and as a PMO since 2000 it has conducted a free-of-charge Texas Children’s History Forum during Fiesta.  The event’s target audience is fourth to seventh grade students and it attracts nearly 500 attendees each year with an important goal being, in Virginia’s own words, “to teach the school children WHY we celebrate Fiesta in San Antonio.” 

2009

FRED MIDDLETON

Many of Fiesta’s PMOs rely on proceeds from their annual Fiesta event to fund their organizations and activities.  But for the Texas Cavaliers, proceeds  from their contributions to Fiesta – most especially the Texas Cavaliers River Parade – exceeded expenses which led Fred to work toward establishment of the Texas Cavaliers Charitable Foundation in 1989.  Through the growth of the Foundation excess funds are used to support groups that work on behalf of children, an estimated 50 such in 2015.  Thanks to Fred’s dedicated work, proceeds from one Fiesta event not only support the PMO that stages it but also not-for-profit children’s organizations throughout the San Antonio community.

GLORIA RAY

A sure sign of leadership is the ability to bring opposing sides of an issue together and to work with them for an outcome favorable to all.   Even after her presidency of the FSAC in 2001, Gloria continued her work on the Commission’s behalf when the Fiesta Carnival was to move from its downtown location to the Alamodome area on San Antonio’s near east side.  Opposition to the move was initially expressed by area residents and organizations, so Gloria (herself a former area resident) stepped in to meet with them and learn of their concerns first-hand.   She then worked with the Alamodome neighborhood’s City Council representative, the San Antonio Police Department, Carnival event planners and other involved parties to resolve those concerns to everyone’s satisfaction.  Knowing how important Carnival revenue is to the FSAC, her motivation was Fiesta’s financial well-being and she accomplished that goal by changing former opponents into project partners.    

JOHN STEEN

Cream always rising to the top is an apt and accurate description of John’s Fiesta-related achievements.  He organized the first “Super Scoopers” while in high school, was President of the German Club in 1982, held high positions through the years with the Order of the Alamo, became Commander of the Texas Cavaliers in 1994,  reigned as King Antonio LXXIV in 1996 and simultaneously served as President of the FSAC and its charitable foundation in 2007-2008.  His term as FSAC President was a crucial time when the combination of John’s strong leadership abilities and calm personal demeanor made the very difficult appear easily accomplished.  His legacy includes a new ten-year ordinance with the City of San Antonio, the relocation of Fiesta Carnival, commercial-free broadcasts of Fiesta parades and significantly increased Fiesta magazine revenue – all jobs, as to be expected, well done.                   

2010

ERWIN DE LUNA

Erwin has been a member of the FSAC since 1998 and first became a member of various FSAC committees in 2006 before joining the Executive Committee in 2009.  His  Fiesta event participations include volunteer services to the San Antonio Conservation Society and to the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, as a judge for both the Miss Fiesta and the Queen of Soul Pageants and as a presenter for the DRT’s Texas Children’s History Forum.  It is, however, his work with United San Antonio Pow Wow, Inc. and its Fiesta event, Celebrations of Traditions Pow Wow, for which he is perhaps best known and certainly most visible.  He has headed the organization as President since 1997.  He is of Navajo and Taos Pueblo ancestry, a charter member of the National Museum of the American Indian and a member of the Texas Indian Hobbyist Association.  His organization’s free event is a unique addition to and example of Fiesta’s cultural diversity, while also promoting the traditions and culture of the American Indian.

JOANNA PARRISH

Joanna had already chaired a Night in Old San Antonio in 1977 and served as President of the San Antonio Conservation Society from 1979 to 1981 while beginning to assume FSAC leadership roles as a member of its Executive Committee.  When she was Marketing Chairman in 1982, the first official Fiesta pin was introduced.  Then, during her term as President of the FSAC in 1984, a volunteer program was established to staff the first Fiesta store, the Fiesta poster design competition was held for the first time and the first poster unveiling ceremony took place during an upbeat, party event that continues as an annual tradition to the present time.  As a Past President, Joanna remained involved and chaired the FSAC’s Long-Range Planning Committee to prepare for Fiesta Centennial, and she then served as Centennial Coordinator. Simultaneously, her other Fiesta activities included key roles within the Battle of Flowers Association and heading the Miss Fiesta San Antonio Scholarship Pageant as its President from 1985 to 1987.

2011

MARILYN ELDRIDGE*

Fiesta enjoyment during her childhood developed for Marilyn into Fiesta involvement that has lasted a lifetime. She was PMO Commissioner during the early years of the Fiesta Arts Fair, sponsored by what was then the Southwest Craft Center which she headed as President and Chairman. For the Battle of Flowers Parade she wrote telecast scripts for live parade broadcasts, became Parade Chairman in 2003 and then Battle of Flowers Association President in 2006. That same year she served as a member of FSAC’s Executive Committee and later held the offices of Treasurer, Vice President and Senior Vice President before becoming President in 2013. During the decades of her life devoted to Fiesta, Marilyn has “had a grand time” with her many fellow devotees in “growing Fiesta San Antonio into the wonderful world-renowned celebration it is today.”      

2012

VONZETTA HICKMAN

Von’s long association with the Queen of Soul Pageant began with her own reign during Fiesta 1979.  Since then she’s guided and led the Pageant as a member of its board including numerous terms as President.  It was in that capacity that she was invited in 1995 to first serve the FSAC on that year’s Nominating Committee.  Her on-going involvement with the Pageant very often focused on the continuous need for new, additional sources of revenue.  In response Von created “Motown”, a Pageant-sponsored annual fundraising event that recalls the era of the legendary record label’s many star performers and their top-of-the-chart hits.  To further that retro theme, attendees are encouraged to dress and style themselves in keeping with the Motown era.  Von’s demonstrated leadership was recognized with her selection to serve on Fiesta 2012’s Executive Committee as Treasurer, followed by additional offices in successive years that led to her term as President for Fiesta 2016.  

Randy Bear was also Inducted in 2012  

*Indicates Deceased Member