732.280.2648 info@belmarparade.com

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Amanda Louise Cregan

Grand Marshal

Amanda Louise Cregan was born in Point Pleasant and raised in Belmar by her mother Nancy Stires (nee Young) with her sister. She was blessed to have cousins across the street, grandparents around the corner, and her best friend, Noreen Murtha Baldwin a bike ride away. Generations of her mother’s family have made Belmar Beach their summer spot and hometown.

Amanda’s Irish grandparents lived in Manasquan where they raised her father, Dennis Cregan. Her grandfather, George Cregan, USN was awarded the Navy Cross and Congressional Medal of Honor in 1914.  She can trace her Irish roots on her father’s side to many places in Ireland including Cork and Tipperary.

Amanda currently resides in West Belmar with her fiancé and fellow bagpiper Ray Spengler. Amanda’s son, Ronald Lamo, is an Eagle Scout and studied Video Game Development for 2 years in Dublin. Ray’s daughter Amanda Spengler is a nurse at Jersey Shore, Neptune and his son Nolan Spengler is in Tennessee about to start a career in the field of chemistry.

Amanda has been a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Bradley Beach since childhood. She is a member of Manasquan Elks Lodge #2534, a member of the John Walsh Chapter of the Irish American Cultural Institute and serves on the NJ Irish Festival Committee where she created the Innisfree Races Bonnet Contest which is a nod to her favorite movie, “The Quiet Man.”

Amanda has served multiple leadership positions and is a life member and past-President of the Women of Irish Heritage Jersey Shore where she is among many strong women leaders of the Irish community who strive to “Keep the Tradition Alive”. From helping teach jigs & reels to new members, prepping the Soda Bread Contest or managing the WOIHJS Fashion Show & Gift Auction there is always an occasion to don something green from Amanda’s wardrobe.

Amanda serves as Committee Chair of Manasquan Cub Scout Pack 59 and on Manasquan Scout Troop 59 Committee. In 2013 she volunteered as staff at the BSA National Jamboree in West Virginia. She is currently working with the scouts on the “American Cultures Merit Badge” as counselor. She is very proud of the many scouts who have earned the rank of Eagle and honored to work with dedicated leaders who tirelessly lend their time and talents to the development of our youth.

After spending many years in banking, Amanda returned to school in 2014 to finish her Associates degree. She is currently employed by RE/MAX New Beginnings Realty in Toms River where she is team administrator for The Integrity Group.

Amanda has been participating in the Belmar-Lake Como parade since the early 1980’s. She played clarinet with the Belmar Elementary School and Manasquan High School Marching Bands. She is a huge fan of “Band Kids” and supports the performing arts. She served as treasurer of the Point Pleasant Boro Band Boosters in 2015 and worked on the Point Pleasant Boro Competition Band Pit Crew while her son was in high school.

One day in 1993, on a whim, her mother mentioned that someone she worked with played the bagpipes and that teaching was available in Point Pleasant. “Sounds like fun!” From then on Amanda was folded into an extensive community of singing, dancing, tall-tale telling, kilt-wearing lads and lasses who have become a beloved extended family.

1994 was her first kilted parade with St. Brendan the Navigator Pipes and Drums and then she moved on to compete with Barnegat Bay Pipe Band from 1996-98. She joined the Pipes and Drums of the Jersey Shore Shillelaghs in 2002 – almost the same time as her partner in “woolen-wear” Ray Spengler. She also spent time as Drum Major for the Pipes and Drums of Barnegat Bay. There have been hundreds of parades spanning three decades including Savannah and NYC. Performing at fundraisers, fancy shin-digs, weddings, funerals, school tours and golf outings round out the rest of her free time.

Amanda is profoundly honored to be selected as the first female Grand Marshal of the Belmar-Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade and represent the many outstanding, strong Irish-American women who have helped shape the Irish culture of the Jersey Shore into what we enjoy today. “Well done Ladies!” She is thrilled to be sharing this glory with a true Irish gentleman, Grand Marshal Craig Coyle. ‘Tis the Season to be Irish!

Band Ready! – – By The Right! – Quick! – MARCH!

 

Craig Coyle

Grand Marshal

Craig Coyle was born in Glen Ridge, NJ to Ellen (nee Breen) and Robert B. Coyle. He has a brother Robert, who is a retired Totowa NJ Police Chief and a sister, Kathryn Wasilewski.  His parents raised the family in Totowa, NJ where Craig spent 21 years.  The family trace their Irish history to County Donegal.   The Coyle family emigrated to America through Canada in the early 1800’s, where they became farmers in Peoria, IL.  Later, Grandfather Thomas Coyle moved to Weehawken, NJ, where he founded Coyle Oil Company.

Craig has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 38 years.  They have lived at the Jersey Shore for 35 years raising their children in Brick Township prior to a move to Neptune eight years ago, where they currently reside.  They have three children and five grandchildren.  Their children, Brittany (husband Chris), Ryan (wife Kelly) and Corinne (husband Nicholas) all reside here loving life at the Jersey Shore.  Grandchildren Brayden, Kinsley, Nicholas, Quinn and Finnegan make “Pop Pop” especially proud.  Craig is a food industry executive with over 40 years of experience.  Craig retired from Bimbo Bakeries USA as a Senior Sales Director after 38 years in 2018.  He currently is an Area Sales for Schmidt Baking Company.

Craig is currently the Vice President with the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore.  He previously held positions of Recording Secretary, Membership Chairman and Trustee.  Craig is a former Shillelagh of the Year and Ancient Order of the Hibernians Irishman of the Year.  He has been a member of the Shillelaghs for twelve years and is especially proud of all the club does in donating and raising money for those less fortunate throughout the Jersey Shore.

Craig is also a member of the Jersey Shore Running Club.   He has run hundreds of races at the Jersey Shore over the past 40 years.  He has annual traditions of running The Spring Lake Five, Belmar Five Mile Run and the Manasquan Turkey Run.  Craig was part of a group, along with Shillelagh President Bill Ryan, that started the Shillelagh 5k race that raises money to help families and organizations locally.  The race is now in its 8th year and grows bigger every year.  He is also a member of the Notre Dame Club of the Jersey Shore.  As an avid Notre Dame subway alumnus, Craig has been instrumental in making the Shillelagh Club the Home of Notre Dame Football at the Jersey Shore where many epic Irish celebrations have occurred.  He has also been a member of the New Jersey Food Council for many years.  He is a past winner of the prestigious NJFC Jimmy Ostling Award for trade relations in the NJ food industry.  Craig also spent many years coaching youth sports in Brick Township.

Craig has been involved in various fundraising projects for the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh and thoroughly enjoys all the club does, especially  in providing meals during Thanksgiving and Toys during Christmas to those families and organizations in need here at the Jersey Shore.  He has also been involved with NJ Special Olympics and as a participant in the Polar Bear Plunge.  In addition, he has been a regular annual participant in the annual Human Horse Race at the Irish Festival at Monmouth Park, which raises money for different NJ organizations each year.

Craig is very proud of his Irish heritage.  He is honored to be named the Grand Marshal of the Belmar/Lake Como St Patrick’s Day Parade for 2022.  He looks forward to leading the parade with Grand Marshal Amanda Louise Cregan and marching with family, friends and his Shillelagh Brothers.