Friday, January 27, 2012


Parade Grand Marshal
January 16, 2012 - It was a crisp overcast morning in Monroeville Alabama as Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers helped line up floats and direct people to their procession location for the upcoming Martin Luther King parade. AmeriCorps VISTA members participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service activities in both Mobile and Monroeville, Alabama. The weather might not have been cooperating exactly, but it certainly did not put a damper on spirits. Children and adults alike talked excitedly of the march to come. 

In Monroeville, floats of all sizes and shapes were staged and made ready to move out. Marchers grabbed signs and posters emblazoned with the images and slogans of Martin Luther King. Bags of throws were loaded into cars, trucks and floats in preparation for the parade. All seemed ready.

A flatbed containing hundreds of colorful balloons and at least 25 excited beaming children was pulled into line as the signal to move out was finally given. Police and fire sirens wailed as the street was cleared to make room for the marchers. The parade route, which was a little over 2 miles, was lined with hundreds of excited parade goers of all ages calling for candy and beads.

Volunteer hands child a lunch tray

The parade made a turn around the stately old town square, which was filled to capacity with parade goers, and then disbanded. We were told the parade was one of the most successful MLK parades in memory.
After the parade the VISTA and RSVP volunteers made their way to the college campus of Alabama Southern Community College where they assisted with preparations for the Martin Luther King “Day of Service” presentations and activities. Following the day’s programs the VISTA and RSVP volunteers served hotdogs, chips and cookies to the attendees.

AmeriCorps VISTA members assist in community outreach on behalf of The Community Foundation of South Alabama.

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