For 27 years, organizers have picked a person to lead the annual Hilton Head Island St. Patrick's Parade.
This year, they picked an organization-- the Heritage Classic Foundation.
Organizers pitched the unusual grand marshal selection as a way for Hilton Head to support the foundation, a nonprofit organization that runs the Heritage golf tournament and is searching for a new title sponsor to sustain the PGA Tour event.
Parade chairwoman Kim Capin said organizers couldn't think of anyone who's made more of a difference in the community than the foundation, which has distributed more than $20 million to charity since 1987.
Several of the foundation's board members, clad in tartan plaid jackets, accepted the honor on behalf of the tournament's staff and volunteers.
"By looking around, I think you can tell who we've chosen," Capin told the small crowd assembled on a patio outside The Boardroom, a new lounge on the island's south end.
Foundation chairman Simon Fraser thanked the parade's leaders and said the Heritage's organizers expect the tournament, whose future is in jeopardy, to continue.
"We fully intend to have many further great tournaments for many years to come," he said.
Several people involved in the foundation -- including founders Joseph B. Fraser Jr., John Curry and Sol Blatt -- have led the parade as individuals over the years, organizers said.
This year's parade is to begin at 3 p.m. March 13 on Pope Avenue. Organizers estimate the event attracts about 20,000 people each year.
With many attendees likely to wear green and with Heritage representatives sure to again don their red tartan, the parade should make for an unusual sight, Capin joked.
"It's going to look like a Christmas parade," she said.