Mayor Richard Irvin announced today that Jose "Tony" Galvez - a stalwart advocate for people with disabilities - will serve as Grand Marshal of Aurora’s 2017 Fourth of July Parade.
"Tony is truly an inspiration to everyone in our community," said Mayor Richard Irvin. "In spite of many challenges, he has persevered and has empowered others do the same."
A lifelong Auroran who graduated from East Aurora High School, Galvez was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of six. Rather than give up, Galvez pursued his biggest dream: helping other young people with disabilities live fuller lives.
"When I was just a small child I was faced with the biggest challenge in my life. I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and have been fighting it ever since," said Galvez. "Although I am not able to walk, this has not been an impediment. I have made it my life’s goal to help others with disabilities."
Tony began his service by hosting large fundraising events featuring popular musicians. In the first three years, he raised more than $40,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He then expanded his mission and founded the SAN Antonio Foundation in October 2014, which helps families with ill children deal with the high costs of medical care. To date, the SAN Antonio Foundation has raised more than $33,000 to support families in Aurora and the work of St. Jude’s Research Hospital, Make a Wish Foundation and other organizations.
"Tony has accomplished more while fighting muscular dystrophy and confined to a wheel chair than most do in a lifetime," said Scott Hawkins, one of a number of people who nominated Galvez for the position. "With his countless fundraisers and his never-complain attitude, he will undoubtedly inspire Aurora and our nation on Independence Day."
Galvez will lead Aurora’s 2017 Fourth of July Parade on Tuesday, July 4 in downtown Aurora. The parade will step off at 10:00 a.m. from the Santori Public Library at the corner of River and Benton Streets.
"Wow. I am so honored. Blessings continue to come my way," said Galvez when he was informed about his nomination and appointment as Grand Marshal.