WinterFest Honored Citizen

Leilani Bly just wants to love on Deer Park and continue to be a part of the city’s growth.  

Moving to Deer Park from Bishop, California in 1973, Bly has raised her 2 biological children as well as 6 “bonus” kids, in the schools and parks that are still here today. When asked how many grand and great-grandkids she has, she starts counting on her fingers, then shrugs with a smile and twinkle in her eyes.  She says she has “at least” 10 grandkids and 8 great-grandkids, but would have to sit down and really count them. It’s clear, though, that she loves them all and knows all about each and every one of them.

As much as she loves to dote on her own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren,  she also has a special place in her heart for all the kids she’s gotten to know through 25 years in the office at Arcadia Elementary School. Even now she sees some of them at the high school events where she sells tickets. She loves these encounters and is always touched that the kids remember her.

Bly also enjoys working with the young ladies who participate in the Miss Deer Park Scholarship Program. Over the years, she has watched the girls move through the required practices to the performance night, and graciously lift each other up while still working to earn individual scholarship money and the title of Miss Deer Park or Deer Park Princess.

Because of these young people, Bly has hope for our future.  She sees it as a sign that Deer Park, and our country will be okay.

When Leilani Bly heard she was chosen as the honored citizen, she said it was surreal.  She is greatly humbled and profoundly touched by the tribute. The very mention of the honor moves her to tears.  She says it is hard to put into words, but she wants to tell Deer Park a deep, heartfelt “thank you.”

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