BY LOUIS C. WARD
LEESBURG – The Dr. Martin L. King Commemoration Committee of Leesburg (MLKCCL) presented trophies to its Dr. King Parade placers, and plaques to participating City and County agencies, community groups and organizations at its general monthly meeting held Thursday, March 2, 2023 at Roger’s Park
“The committee is grateful to the parade placers and the different city and county departments that helped us to make the 2023 MLK Parade a victorious and grand event,” said Ms. Carolyn Samuel, President of MLKCCL.
V-MAX “For One Community”, a modeling school that teaches the art of fashion, took first place. The Lake County Training School/Carver Heights Foundation came in second, The Village Twirlers was third and fourth place was taken by The Father’s House. The winners were selected by the Parade judges after performing for three minutes at the grandstand.
Recognized with distinguished plaques were the parade’s Grand Marshall, Ms. Mollie Cunningham, and Honorable Marshall. Allison Berry. Ms. Cunningham was the first African American elected to the Lake County School Board, and Ms. Berry is the first Black woman elected to the Leesburg City Commission.
Rev. Woodrow Leaks and wife Gloria performed a very realistic portrayal of Martin and Coretta King as they rode in the Leesburg’s Fire Department ladder truck’s bucket, bringing an end to the 2023 Dr. King Parade.
Leesburg Police Department Chief Robert Hicks, and Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, Lake County Sheriff Department, and the Leesburg Fire Department were recognized for enhancing the parade, providing safety and other important contributions that made it a successful event. Leesburg High School Band was honored for their annual support.
Lake Front TV televises the event every year and the Leesburg Partnership and the City of Leesburg contribute resources that assist the MLKCCL with planning and logistics for the annual community event. All these individuals, organizations, and city agencies were commended with a nicely made plaque for their work and support.
The Father’s House surprised the MLKCCL when its representatives presented the Commemoration Committee with a wooden, shellacked plaque that read “Black History Month Celebrates Diversity.”
“Without the continuous help of the City of Leesburg, Florida, the city and county departments, the many organizations, individuals, and churches, the committee would not be successful with such a large undertaking as the annual MLK parade to celebrate the commemoration of Dr. King’s legacy. We are also grateful to the many parade watchers and viewers,” Ms. Samuel concluded.