The Edison Festival of Light is proud to announce an impressive line-up of Parade Marshals for the Grand Parade on Saturday, Feb. 20. Grand Marshal, renowned novelist Randy Wayne White and Co-Honorary Grand Marshal, NFL football star Jevon Kearse join local attorney and Iron Man hopeful Jason Gunter who was voted as the People’s Choice Honorary Grand Marshal. The Grand Parade begins at Ft. Myers High School Stadium at 7pm and ends in the beautiful downtown River District where a Parade Party will be held to continue the celebration of Thomas Alva Edison’s contributions to the world.
Randy Wayne White is a writer of crime fiction and non-fiction adventure tales. He has written best-selling novels and has received awards for his fiction and a television documentary. He is best known for his series of crime novels featuring the retired NSA agent Doc Ford, a marine biologist living in Southwest Florida. White has been a resident of Southwest Florida since 1972, and currently lives on Pine Island, where he is active in South Florida civic affairs and with the restaurant Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar & Grill on Sanibel Island.
In 1972, White worked for the Fort Myers News-Press for four years and obtained a fishing captain's license. He bought a used charter boat and operated as a light-tackle fishing guide at the Tarpon Bay Marina on Sanibel for thirteen years. He began writing novels while working as a fishing guide and his first seven novels were written under the pen name Randy Striker.
Jevon Kearse was born and raised in Fort Myers. He is currently a defensive end for the Tennessee Titans in the NFL. He was originally drafted by the Titans 16th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida.
Kearse played for the Philadelphia Eagles for four seasons between stints with the Titans. During his first tenure with the Titans, Kearse was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1999. Both his unusual speed and 86-inch (220 cm) wingspan greatly impressed coaches.[
Kearse became serious about football in his high school at Ft. Myers High. He was over six feet tall and extremely agile. He played strong safety and tight end, and in his first season in high school football, he returned four kicks for touchdowns. In 1994, Kearse's senior year, he was honored as an All-American by USA Today. In addition to his athletic ability, colleges were interested in his 3.6 GPA.
The Jevon Kearse Foundation (JevonKearseFoundation.com) exists to promote positive outreach services to at-risk youth in Southwest Florida.
Jason Gunter is a Fort Myers attorney who attempted to make history at the Ford Ironman World Championship last year in Kona, Hawaii. His race ended when he collapsed about three miles from the finish line after completing the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 23-miles of the run. This in itself is impressive but even more so for Gunter who lost his right hand and left leg below the knee in a 1992 boating accident in Pine Island Sound. He trained for the world’s hardest triathlon for less than six months.
Gunter was nominated as the Peoples’ Choice for Honorary Grand Marshal and announced as winner at the January 30th Edison Festival of Light Day of Discovery after weeks of online votes. Gunter continues to train and strive to make history as the first upper and lower-amputee athlete to finish the Ironman.
Source: Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC Public Relations Manager LCEC