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Dean And Barbara Spencer Grand Marshals For Bedford's Christmas Parade
Updated November 29, 2017 10:27 AM | Filed under: Event
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(BEDFORD) - Dean and Barbara Spencer are the grand marshals for the Bedford Christmas Parade, one of Southern Indiana's largest illuminated Christmas parades.

This year there are over 100 parade units.

The Grand Marshal and Downtown Lighting Ceremony begins will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in front of the Miss Indiana statue located on the courthouse lawn facing J Street.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. This year's theme is "Jingle Bell Rock"

Both are graduates of Purdue University and founders of Ad-Venture Media, Inc. (1340 AM WBIW; Super Oldies 105.5 WQRK and Z102 102.5 WPHZ). Dean is also a member of the "Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame."

"I had been working for the power company as Director of Economic Growth, and an opening occurred in the Fall of 1974 with the Bedford radio station, WBIW, and I was asked if I would be interested," Dean says. " Barbara and I discussed it, made a trip to Bedford to look around, and decided we 'liked the town and the area', and told the Board of the radio station, who also owned the Richmond station, WKBV, yes we were interested!"

Dean became the new manager of WBIW and the couple never looked back. 1340 AM WBIW will celebrate 70 years of service in 2018.

"We've loved every minute in Bedford," Dean added.

In 1978 the Spencers purchased the Bedford station and formed a corporation and started looking for capital and stockholders.

"We took over ownership in March, 1989," Dean says, " By that time WQRK, 105.5 FM had been added. In 1991 we had a chance to acquire a new FM station in Mitchell, and we added that to our little group."

The couple's beliefs have always been to "serve our community first".

"We added the County Spelling Bee in 1975 - one of our contributions to the community, along with support of our schools and team sports," Dean added. "We are most proud of bringing FM radio to Bedford, and then FM for Mitchell. With the radio stations, we have been able to serve the area with a number of promotions and sponsorships benefiting many community organizations. We are truly proud of our communities."

The couple will celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary on December 24th. They have three children - two sons Stuart and Scott Spencer and a daughter Susan Blake, 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

The couple is also been involved in numerous community activities. Both have been active members at the Free Methodist Church for more than 42 years.

Dean is a member of the Bedford Kiwanis Club, International Broadcasters Idea Bank, served on Grissom Airport Board, John Purdue Club & President's Council and Indiana Professional Engineers.

Barbara is a member of Cum Libris, Ladies of the Round Table, Bedford Noon Lions Club, one of the founders of the Lawrence County Community Concert Association and Hoosier Ragtime Society.

Barbara has a passion for music and enjoys taking turns with other organists at the Free Methodist Church and accompanying musicians.

Dean enjoys competitive sailing, ham radio and electronics, as well as flying and aviation.

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