Lehrke family takes a bow in Chasco boat parade
NEW PORT RICHEY - It didn’t rain on the Chasco Fiesta Boat Parade on Saturday as the Lehrke family of Odessa claimed the grand prize of $2,500. Based on this year’s theme, “Celebrate Your Passion,” the family of David and Sandy Lehrke paid tribute to scuba diving to earn best overall boat honors and the $2,500 grand prize. Their love of scuba diving began in 1978 and grew along with the family. In the profit of business category, judges gave first place, worth $300, to Meares Plumbing for its salute to superheroes. Gulf Coast Boat Sales picked up second place and $125 as the crew demonstrated having fun on a pontoon boat.Windsong Charters & Boat Rentals took third place and $75 with the theme “life is better on a boat,” with fishing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling and island barbecues. Among schools and nonprofit groups, the Genesis School crew claimed $300 and first place for a boat that illustrated the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida by Ponce de Leon. Students paid tribute to conquistadors, orange groves, railroads, tourism and space exploration. Genesis made its 32nd appearance at the event. The Rotary Club of Trinity came in second place, winning $125 with a boat celebrating the group’s passion for children with Dr. Seuss characters. Winning third place and $75, the Retired Officer Association dedicated a boat to “the tiki life” and a passion for retirement. ROA comprises former law enforcement officers. Onboard the boat were two former New Port Richey police chiefs, Jim Bottner and Martin Rickus, and Darryl Garman, a former New Port Richey assistant police chief. In the private, family and individual category, the Shady Hills Gang floated into first place, worth $300, with its tribute to Shady Hills. Cash prizes and plaques will be presented by the Rotary Club of New Port Richey at noon May 1 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave.