Man and Woman of the Year

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This year’s Woman of the Year Karen Hadley and Man of the Year Marc Loopesko Courtesy photo

The Seal Beach Historical Society/Red Car Museum recently honored the 2017-2018 Historical Man and Woman of the Year. The ceremony was held last Saturday at the Red Car Museum, near the Mary Wilson Library. This year the Historical Society selected Marc Loopesko and Karen Hadley. They are two incredible people who have dedicated their time to serving our community and the SBHS/Red Car Museum. They both love living in Seal Beach and they are always willing to lend a helping hand.

Loopesko has been very active in Run Seal Beach. First, he worked beside Bill Ayres and Elizabeth Kane until he and Kane eventually took over the reins of the annual event, which under his leadership has given back over $1.3 million in 15 years to Seal Beach organizations. He was also one of the developers of the Seal Beach Police Foundation, which has greatly benefited our city’s great police department. For many years he was a volunteer tennis coach at the city’s tennis center, so he could help bring the love of the game to more of the youth of our town. Loopesko has been very active with the Founders Day Committee as well, which celebrates our city founding with a major celebratory event every five years and raises tens of thousands of dollars, which is then donated to our park and recreation department. In 2014, Loopesko was elected director of the Seal Beach Centennial Committee, where he organized and directed the numerous events that residents participated in throughout the year, culminating in one of the greatest fireworks shows that Seal Beach residents have ever seen.  Last but not least, he was the treasurer of the Historical Society.

Hadley grew up in Seal Beach all her life. She went to the local schools. Her mother, Virginia Hadley, was among the first community members to establish SBHS and the Red Car Museum. She has followed in her mother’s footsteps and helped bring in more donations for SBHS/Red Car Museum the last several years. She even purchased the banners that have helped bring in more foot traffic when the museum is opened. In 2015, she introduced her original character, “Aunt Gertie” to the general public and quickly became a legend and celebrity.  In 2016, “Aunt Gertie On Life” was born when she started writing a column for the Sun Newspaper. This past holiday season “Aunt Gertie” entertained seniors at Sunrise Senior Living and the Veteran’s Hospital. Aunt Gertie aka Hadley has always made a point of stopping to greet folks in wheelchairs on Main Street to brighten their day and put a smile on their faces. Aunt Gertie has even toured the country, being an ambassador for Seal Beach.