Community-minded Middletown couple serves as grand marshals of Santa Parade

Parade organizer on Sacks: ‘They have given and given and it was nice to recognize them.’

MIDDLETOWN — Linda Moorman, chairwoman of the 16th annual Santa Parade, said it was easy selecting Dan and Frances Sack as grand marshals of this year’s parade.

“They have given and given and it was nice to recognize them,” Moorman said. “It was like, ‘We all saw what you did, know what you did, and thank you.’”

Frances Sack called serving as grand marshal of the Nov. 25 parade with her husband of 57 years “an unexpected honor and pretty awesome.”

When asked why they have been so active in the Middletown community, Dan Sack said: “We are wired that way. Our parents were that way. We have seen it our whole lives.”

Recent grand marshals of the Santa Parade have included Middletown natives Kyle Schwarber, a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, and Kayla Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time Professional Fighters League champion.

Moorman said Central Avenue, from Curtis Street to Governor’s Square, was lined with spectators for the performing parade. This was a new route for the parade, she said.

For Moorman, the parade offers an opportunity for local families to enjoy the “magic of Christmas,” she said. “It makes people happy. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids.”

She also thanked the Middletown Community Foundation for its financial support of the parade. She described the MCF as “the backbone” of the parade.

The Sacks also could be called the backbone of many Middletown events.

They were involved in the National Hot Air Balloon Festival when Dan, then chair of the Middletown Chamber of Commerce, was part of the group that brought the three-year event to Middletown.

The Sacks were recognized as honorary chairs at the 90th annual Middletown Area Federation of Women Charity Ball and chaired the 100th Anniversary Charity Ball. Frances Sack served for 16 years as volunteer chair of the ball.

The couple has served in several ministries at Holy Family Parish where they have been members for over 55 years; and both were Middletown Symphony Orchestra Guest Conductors candidates and were very involved in the 1991 Middletown Bicentennial Celebration.

Frances, a graduate of Miami University, was a substitute teacher for eight years and a professional fund raiser since 1987. She has worked for several area non-profits and has worked with Otterbein SeniorLife for 17 years. She’s Otterbein’s Director of the Dilgard Open golf event that celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and has raised over $1 million for Otterbein’s Benevolent Care Ministry for its residents.

In 2007, she was a recipient of the West Chester Chamber Alliance/Women of Excellence and in 2003 was recognized as a Butler County YWCA Woman of Achievement.

Dan, a Cincinnati native and graduate of University of Cincinnati, with a 2nd Lt Commission and spent a tour of military duty in Vietnam. He retired from Armco Steel after 24 years and has been an independent professional facilitator since 1994 where he contracted with The Cumberland Group.

Dan’s volunteer activities include: American Heart Association Middletown Chapter chair and served on the National Heart Association board; Middletown United Way board; two terms on Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce board and three years as board chair and two terms on the Middletown Community Foundation board serving as interim chair.

He was recognized by Middletown United Way as Volunteer of Year several years ago.

The Sacks have three children: Gina (Barry) Isroff, Melissa (Garett) Smith, and Danny (Lynn Hart) Sack and have eight grandchildren.

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