Cap Clegg was nothing short of surprised when he received the call notifying him that he will preside over Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade as Grand Leprechaun.
The honor, passed out each year to someone who has had a significant and positive impact on the community, isn't undeserved as Clegg's schedule is filled with service and activities around Dublin.
Clegg just doesn't see himself as one of the people who make Dublin what it is.
"The Grand Leprechauns, you looked up to," he said. "To be part of that is weird or awesome. To be included in that group of people that have molded and formed Dublin is incredible. It's nothing you aspire to ... And other people nominate you and that makes it even more awesome."
Clegg moved to Dublin in 1999 and immediately got involved through Leadership Dublin.
"It introduced me to Dublin and the great things Dublin has done and how to be part of that," he said. "What makes Dublin great is the people. It's not top-down, it's a bottom-up community ... If I was a resident of Columbus, I'd have to serve on school board or council to have an impact. Here you can get involved easily."
Dublin AM Rotary, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Dublin Foundation have all had Clegg in a leadership position. He has also volunteered at the Dublin Irish Festival, Halloween Spooktacular, St. Patrick's Day and Independence Day parades.
"I love the projects Leadership Dublin does, from Miracle League to the Dublin Counseling Center to the Dublin Foundation. In 1997, I joined the Dublin AM Rotary. It's a great group of people that have an impact on the community," he said, noting that the Rotary's motto is service above self. "They take that to heart."
Every Thursday morning Clegg takes part in Horizon Prison Ministry.
"I've got 11 guys and say 'We've all made mistakes. What can we do to do better?'" he said. "It gives me time on the way and way back to say to God, 'I have flaws. What are we going to do about these?' If I wasn't doing that, I wouldn't have that chance (for reflection)."
As Grand Leprechaun, Clegg will preside over the parade and judge floats. He has never had the chance to sit down and watch the parade before, though.
"Rotary has been marshalling the Independence Day and St. Patrick's Day parades so I've been marshalling in the parade for 10 years plus," Clegg said. "I've been part of it in the rain, sleet, sun and wind. In 2005, I was selected businessperson of the year -- that was another award that came out of left field -- and I rode in a convertible."
This St. Patrick's Day will give Clegg a chance to have his own part in the parade and after that he'll be able to ride on a float with other past Grand Leprechauns.
"This is like going from being a maid in King Arthur's court to being part of it," he said.
Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. March 16 at Metro Center and proceed through Historic Dublin.
For more information on the parade or other St. Patrick's Day festivities, look online at Dublin.oh.us.