Valdese, NC – The Town of Valdese is proud to honor Faith “Cutie” Kaplan as the Grand Marshal for the Valdese Annual Christmas Parade, which will be held on Saturday, December 7, at 10:00am.
Faith Kaplan, known to most as “Cutie” is a Valdese celebrity. Having lived in Valdese for over sixty-six years she has been involved in numerous projects.
Faith began her college education in Greensboro majoring in sociology. She later went back to college at Lenoir Rhyne when she was in her thirty’s and studied education. Being a devoted daughter, Faith returned home to care for her ailing mother. She is one of four children and joked that she was in fact her mother’s favorite. Faith shared, “I feel so special to live in this community because it is family. I feel privileged to call Valdese home.” She is a proud mother of three successful adults and greatly enjoys sharing their accomplishments with her friends.
Currently, Faith serves as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels and the Waldensian Presbyterian Church Food Bank. She also is a board member of the Historic Valdese Foundation and Valdese Housing Authority – serving since 1983 and chairing the board from 1992-2012. She has also been on the Valdese Main Street Promotions Committee since 2014. In the past she has been involved in numerous organizations, including DOES (Women’s Elk) Morganton President in 1956, DOES (Women’s Elk) NC President in 1957-58, Valdese Merchants Association President 1956 & 1983, Valdese School Board 1967-1969, Valdese PTA 1963-1965, NC PTA 1966-1968, NC Music Club State Board 1970, Valdese Recreation Board 1958-1960, Old Colony Players 1970-1980, Jayceets (Women’s Chapter of Jaycees) 1956, and Valdese Pilot Club Member 1975-1985. She also served as a Girl Scout Troop Leader and Boy Scout Assistant Troop Leader and often volunteered as a math tutor at Valdese Elementary.
The building located at 108 Main Street West was built by the Guigou Brothers as a US Post Office in 1929 and remained so until the early 1940’s when it became the Style Shop. The Style Shop, a ladies’ apparel store was owned and operated by Faith and her husband, Ed. The shop thrived in Downtown Valdese for forty years and was not your average boutique. The Kaplans held special fashion shows at Valdese High School and always found reasons to celebrate the community from interviews with the local radio station to having the high school cheerleaders model the new clothing of the season.
Faith speaks fondly of these special years. Having been married to her husband Ed for sixty-eight years, she offered these words of wisdom, “Enjoy the things your partner enjoys. Understand one another and be kind.” Faith cared for her husband during this time of failing health until he passed in August 2015. She celebrates their years together by sharing stories and smiles with friends and family each and every day.
When asked what her advice to younger generations would be, Faith shared, “Have a positive attitude and appreciate the small things. I chose to see the good in people and feel blessed to live in a wonderful community. I am excited about life! Respect everyone. I am a happy person.”
The parade will begin at the corner of Church Street and Main Street, and will conclude at the corner of Morgan Street and Main Street. The Piedmont & Western Railroad Museum will host an open house at the Old Rock School the morning of the parade. Parade visitors are invited to view the HO scale model railroad exhibit which stretches from Marion, NC to Leadvale, TN. Admission is free, and donations are greatly appreciated.
“I would like to thank our Valdese Merchants Association for their contribution to the parade by sponsoring the grand finale float which will feature Santa!” states Morrissa Angi Community Affairs Director for the Town of Valdese. “This event is a great time to come together as a community to celebrate the holidays.” Attendees are encouraged to stay on the sidewalks for safety purposes. Those interested in registering a vehicle in the parade can download the application online at townofvaldese.com under Christmas Events.