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November 20, 2012

Kriehn is grand marshal for Christmas on the Square

Live Oak — Lisa Kriehn of Love INC has been selected as the grand marshal for the 28th Annual Christmas on the Square nighttime parade.

Kriehn is the executive director of the local faith-based charity.

“I was in tears because we only do what needs to be done,” Kriehn said of receiving the news.

Love INC is a local ministry that, since its inception in 1991, have had their hand in helping others and have been directly involved in numerous fundraisers. Through the ministry’s efforts, they’ve brought useful items to those less-fortunate in their greatest time of need, but more importantly, the ministry offers hope through Christ.

Kriehn was raised in Live Oak. She is married to Tom Kriehn who is retired from the US

Navy and is currently employed by PCS Phosphate. They have two children and five

grandchildren.

Kriehn quit her job in 2004 to help care for her mother. When her mother recovered, Kriehn needed something to do and decided in 2006 to became a volunteer for Love INC (In the Name of Christ). She originally was only going to work the same days that her husband worked. Needless to say, that only lasted a couple of weeks as she could not stay away. In September of 2008, she became the clearinghouse coordinator and remained in that position for three years.

Winona Edwards, the previous executive director, came to her and told her she was going to retire and that Kriehn was the only one that knew all of the functions and qualified for the position. Reluctantly, Kriehn took the position, but loved it. Kriehn admits she learned all the ropes from Edwards.

On June 26, Tropical Storm Debby hit our community and hit it hard. When Love INC’s office was able to reopen on June 28, Kriehn said it was one of the saddest days they had ever experienced.

“I cannot begin to explain to you look of horror and fear on peoples faces as they

came through our doors,” said Kriehn. “The only thing I could say to my wonderful group of volunteers was let them know that you love them and let’s do what we can to

help them.”

And that is exactly what they did for months. Through the help of the community, surrounding communities and places as far away as California, donations of money, clothes, food, water and household items came pouring into their office, to the point that they were gifted a warehouse to use as a receiving site.

“We to date have been able to help 2,103 people for $242,503 in goods and services,” said Kriehn. “We truly saw the denominational walls knocked down and our community pull together.”

Now, Kriehn is the 2012 Christmas on the Square grand marshal. 
“The grand marshall is usually someone who’s worked in the community awhile,” said Barbie Scott, who is one of the event coordinators. “She’s done a lot, doing the shoe drive and working real hard.”

One of the duties Kriehn will have is cutting the ribbon that will officially begin Christmas on the Square. The ribbon-cutting begins at 8 a.m. in front of Millennium and Veterans parks and the grand marshal also leads the Christmas parade.

When asked what Kriehn would do if she found out she was going to be the person in a dunking booth that day, she spoke like a real trooper.

“Well, if that’s what they asked me to do, I’d do it,” Kriehn laughed.

All kidding aside, Kriehn showed genuine thanks and gratuity for being selected for such an honorable position as Grand Marshall for the event.

“It’s just an honor, I can’t explain,” said Kriehn. “I was speechless and I’m excited.”

Don’t miss the people, the fun, the booths, the music, the food and the entertainment that Christmas on the Square always delivers coming up Dec. 1.

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