Support Memorial Day tradition

Published 12:21 am Sunday, May 30, 2010

For more than two decades, Paulette Williams-Cameron assisted her father (James “Jimmy” Williams — former Sergeant at Arms of the American Legion Post No. 590 and Parade Coordinator).

Jimmy was a Memorial Day parade legend, full of excitement as he danced and skipped to entertain the crowds. After Jimmy’s death in 1997, Paulette took the responsibility of coordinating and supervising the Memorial Day Band. In 2004, Paulette persuaded me to carry the torch and continue the tradition. I have been following the parade since childhood like most of the locals. I am also a veteran and a member of the American Legion Post No. 590.

Knowing that it was going to be a challenging task to continue such a historical tradition, I formed a non-profit organization named the Miss-Lou Memorial Day Parade Committee and immediately appointed board members who share the same vision. Our board members are: vice-president Tera Williams; secretary Felicia Bowman; treasurers Helen V. Williams and Walter Emery; parliamentarian Louis Banks; reporter Christy Bowman; event coordinators Felicia Bowman, Christy Bowman, Tera Williams, Waynell Woodside; sponsorship reps Regenia Fleming and Robert Gardner.

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The committee’s primary purpose is to support the American Legion in this tradition. The committee conducts and orchestrates band practices which normally begins in mid-March and practice to Memorial Day.

The band is a community band composed of youth to adults. This year, we have participants from Ferriday, Fayette, Natchez and Vidalia. The committee has several fundraisers throughout the year to finance the parade. Financing the parade consist of replacing instruments and their accessories, wardrobes, drinks and snacks and other unexpected expenses. Last year, the committee took the children on a field trip to Blue Bayou water amusement park in Baton Rouge.

In closing, I would like to thank the committee members for all of their dedication and hard work. The Miss-Lou Memorial Day parade committee is a non-profit organization. All donations are federal tax-deductible.

Eddie L. Coleman Jr.

Parade committee president