Las Patronas president Pat Marsch knows the value of helping hands

Pat Marsch was born in Detroit and is a graduate of the University of Michigan with degrees in English, education, and radio and television. Shortly after graduation, she moved to the mountains of Colorado to ski for one season.  Fourteen ski seasons later, she continued west from her adopted hometown of Breckenridge (where she taught English, owned a cookware store, met her husband Nick and had two sons) and landed in San Diego.

Pat Marsch

She said living in San Diego has provided her with many opportunities to give back. Through the years, she’s held volunteer leadership positions with the Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, Rancho Santa Fe Community Center, the Boy Scouts of America, the Salvation Army, and every school her sons attended, which culminated in service as Parent Association President, Board of Trustees Advancement Committee Chair, Financial Aid Chair, and Centennial Campaign Co-Chair for The Bishop’s School. “This is my seventh year as a member of Las Patronas and I am honored to be the current president of this great organization,” she said.

What brought you to La Jolla?

We were living in Rancho Santa Fe when our son, Mike, began attending Bishop’s.  During that period of time, we just kept moving south along the coast to shorten his commute. Finally, in 2005, we moved to La Jolla — a short six weeks before our youngest son graduated from Bishop’s. And, although our sons never got the full benefit of the five-minute drive to school, we all have loved living by the water in this wonderful seaside Village.

What would you improve in town?

In many ways, La Jolla is the perfect place to live.  Nick and I enjoy strolling down the hill and into town for a sunset dinner at one of our favorite Prospect Street restaurants. But if I could make a few improvements by snapping my fingers, I would find a way to mute the sirens of the emergency vehicles that travel Torrey Pines road between 2 and 5 a.m. … or fill the potholes.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the thousands of organizations and the tens of thousands of volunteers who dedicate so much time, talent and energy to improve the quality of life in San Diego County. These are the people who give their time outside of the spotlight, without pay, out of the goodness of their hearts.

My fellow Las Patronas members inspire me with their compassion and commitment.  It’s not easy to build the Jewel Ball from the ground up every year.  We do the vast majority of the sawing, hammering, painting and stapling ourselves. But it’s what we’ve done for more than 66 years, and the results have contributed almost $17 million to over a thousand organizations that serve hundreds of thousands of San Diego’s most needy. This inspires us all.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight …

I think my English heritage and love of English literature are showing with several of the names on my guest list. I would invite Jane Austin, William Shakespeare, Julia Child, Richard Feynman, J K Rowling, Warren Buffett, Leonardo da Vinci, and The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, of course.

What are your five favorite movies?

My all-time favorite movies are “West Side Story,” “Roman Holiday,” “Top Gun,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Chocolat.”

What is it that you dislike most?

Dishonesty and lack of compassion.

What is your most-prized possession?

Time … to spend with family and friends.

What do you do for fun?

I launch my yellow kayak, which my sons nicknamed the Mother Ship because I carry all the provisions, and we paddle up the La Jolla shoreline. There’s nothing more entertaining than seeing a group of young sea lions and dolphins frolicking in the waters north of Scripps Pier.

What is your philosophy of life?

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. As Mark Twain said, “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

What would be your dream vacation?

Ever since my college days of working summer jobs at the Detroit Zoo, I have dreamed of visiting Africa. Maybe this dream resulted from the summers I spent cooking hot dogs outside of the Great Ape exhibit or selling tickets for the African Elephant Encounter. Regardless, I hope to see all these amazing species in their natural habitat someday.

Related posts:

  1. Jewish Federation offers a tribute to longtime volunteer Terri Bignell of La Jolla
  2. Dr. Kristiina Vuori of La Jolla takes a lead in the cancer research field
  3. Belief in community service leads John Weinstein to help out kids in need
  4. Animation holds a place in the heart of Craig ‘Spike’ Decker
  5. 10 Questions: East Coast transplant Linda Hensel enjoys new life in La Jolla

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Posted by Staff on May 30, 2013. Filed under 10 Questions, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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