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<< Entertainment >>

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Two Southwest Detroit Students see their designs come to life with 16th Annual Skillman Foundation Design Contest

The Parade Company Unveils Skillman Float & Balloon Winners

COURTESY OF THE PARADE COMPANY

Guadalupe Barrera's award-winning "Dancing Flower Garden" drawing.

DETROIT – Two talented school children were overjoyed to see their artistic creations come alive for the first time today when The Parade Company unveiled The Skillman Foundation winning float and balloon designs at The Parade Studio in Detroit.

Guadalupe Barrera, an 8th grader from Clippert Academy in Detroit and Kenyatta Dearing, a 4th grader from Fleming Academy in Detroit were the winning artists of the 16th Annual Skillman Foundation Float and Balloon Design Contest. Barrera’s drawing of “The Dancing Flower Garden” inspired by Ballet Folklorico transformed into a life-size captivating float, and Dearing’s drawing inspired a vibrant balloon named “Sunflower from the Community Garden.”

The two students, their families, teachers and principals attended the unveiling. The four students whose drawings earned honorable mentions were also invited to see their drawings on display. Joan LeMahieu, president of The Parade Company and The Skillman Foundation representatives joined the students for this special occasion.

“The opportunity to encourage children to explore their creativity and imaginations is made possible through our continued partnership with The Skillman Foundation,” said Matt Cullen, Chair, Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation. “We are delighted to annually invite students up through grade five to join in this exciting tradition and create lifelong memories, and we continue to be awed by the great number of students who participate in the contest.”

On Thanksgiving morning, an excited Guadalupe Barrera will accompany her Dancing Flower Garden float, featuring 9-foot tall animated twirling dancers spinning 8-foot wide flowing, multicolored skirts down the Parade path! Meanwhile, an ecstatic Kenyatta Dearing will walk next to her 25-foot vivid flower balloon with a 17-foot long green stem as it soars above the crowd at the 81st America’s Thanksgiving Parade®.

“Although our community is suffering a great deal of pain economically, America’s Thanksgiving Parade® and Thanksgiving season is a time when we can come together and celebrate the good things we have,” said Carol Goss, president & CEO of The Skillman Foundation. “We’re pleased to collaborate with The Parade Company to showcase some incredibly talented Detroit kids, and to bring a little bit of holiday joy to the millions of people who attend the parade or watch at home.”

About The Skillman Foundation

Created in 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy whose chief aim is to help develop good schools and good neighborhoods for children. Though grants are made throughout Metropolitan Detroit, most grants are directed at six Detroit neighborhoods – Southwest Detroit (Vernor and Chadsey/Condon), Brightmoor, Osborn, Central and Cody/Rouge – and toward innovative and successful schools throughout the city of Detroit.

About The Parade Company
Founded in 1984, The Parade Company is a not-for-profit organization governed by the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation whose board of directors is comprised of key civic and corporate leaders in the greater Detroit region. The Parade Company is celebrating 81 years of Parade tradition in Detroit. The mission is to fund, create and execute the best family events in metro Detroit. The Parade Company staff, the board of directors and thousands of parade volunteers work year-round to bring a wide variety of magnificent events to the City of Detroit each year including the Target Fireworks, Detroit International River Days and America's Thanksgiving Parade®.

Source: Lovio|George|Inc. / The Parade Company

COURTESY OF THE PARADE COMPANY

Kenyatta Dearing's award-winning "Sunflower from the Community Garden" drawing.

 

[ Return to our coverage of the 2007 America's Thanksgiving Parade ]

 

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Copyright © 2007 AmericaJR.com. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer. America's Thanksgiving Parade is a registered trademark of The Parade Company. Official logos are courtesy of The Parade Co.

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