Donn and Christine Clickard will wear the crown of King and Queen of Colony Days 2023
ATASCADERO — The Colony Days Committee has officially announced the Grand Marshal and the King and Queen of the Colony Days Parade. This year, the honor of Grand Marshal will go to Robert “Grigger” Jones, while Donn and Christine Clickard will wear the crowns of King and Queen.
All three community members will be honored at the Quota of Atascadero Tea on Sunday, Oct. 1. Though the tea is not open to the general public, everyone in the community is invited to come celebrate Grigger, Donn, and Christine at the Colony Days Royalty Mixer on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The mixer will take place at the Atascadero Chamber’s BridgeWorks building from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The three Atascadero legends will lead the Colony Days Parade on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Jones has been a part of Atascadero since he arrived in 1978, with his wife Alice and his kids in tow, and opened a law practice. Prior to moving his family here, he grew up surfing in Santa Barbara, was in the Army for three-plus years, including a stint in what was then 1972 West Berlin, and graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
“I was looking for a small town to raise my children and set up a law practice,” Jones said. “Didn’t know a soul in town when I got here, and within a couple of years, I was president of the Chamber of Commerce and running the Tuesday Luncheon Meetings in town.”
Jones was also a part of the incorporation process when Atascadero became its own city in 1979.
“When I got here, it wasn’t incorporated yet,” he said. “It was the planning stage, which I saw an opportunity to be a part of that. It was very exciting. So I’ve been involved with the town 44 years.”
Over the years, Jones has been a part of most of the large organizations in the county, including being the president of the Atascadero Mutual Water Company and co-founding Leadership North County almost 10 years ago.
“I ran a lot of meetings, I still run a lot of meetings and have all over the county,” Jones added.
Christine Clickard grew up in Atascadero. In fact, she was born in the Atascadero General Hospital, which no longer exists. Donn was brought to the area from Monterey to attend Cal Poly for his Master’s degree in physical education, where he ultimately started student teaching at Atascadero High School and never left.
“That was 1970, and I didn’t ever work in physical education,” Donn said. “I was assigned a position in special education, and so I taught in the resource program in special ed for my whole time, whatever it is, 35 years. And then, I was Athletic Director for all but two years of that time. I became A.D. in 72, I think.”
Donn and Christine met by chance due to the involvement of Donn and Christine’s younger sister, who worked with Donn at Camp Hapitok.
“We had family day, and she invited her family to come to family day, and Christine was the older sister that was home from school,” stated Donn about the day he met Christine.
Donn had met Christine’s entire family by that point, and they instantly clicked when they met. But with Christine going to nursing school in San Francisco, they started out long-distance while she finished up school. She moved back to Atascadero in 1975, and the two were married in 1978.
Christine’s nursing career has taken her all over San Luis Obispo County. She worked at the Paso Robles Hospital before it closed, Twin Cities in Templeton, San Luis General Hospital. While working in SLO, she also worked at the Cuesta Health Center as the student nurse before retiring in 2020.
In 1999, Donn and Christine made the exciting trip to Vietnam to adopt their daughter Julia. They added that Atascadero welcomed little Julia with open arms when they brought her home.
While working for the Atascadero Unified School District, Donn was also part of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce and served as president on the chamber board for four different terms. After his retirement, he became a trustee on the school board for the Atascadero Unified School District from 2004-23.
In 1995, Donn founded the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation and later LIGHTHOUSE. Born out of the tragedy of the drug-related deaths of young Atascadero athletes, the foundations continue to provide substance use awareness, prevention, intervention, and education. He was also on the Atascadero Colony Days Committee from 1975 to 2021.
“This community is unique in that, when we do a project, we being the community, the Greyhound Foundation, the school district, or the city, we kind of all do this together,” added Donn.
Both Donn and Christine said that they’re excited to be driven in the Colony Days Parade in Kent Kenny’s convertible.
Feature Image: Donn and Christine Clickard (left and center) will be King and Queen of the Colony Days Parade, while Robert “Grigger” Jones (right) will be Grand Marshal. Photo by Hayley Mattson