Music and turtles inspire Parade winners

DETROIT — Motown's rich music history and a colorful turtle were the inspirations for The Skillman Foundation's 18th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade float and balloon winners that will be featured in Thursday's event.

Tierra Bascomb, an eigth-grader from Bates Academy, will ride on her float, which was created from her drawing entitled, "Past, Present, Music!" The standing microphones and Motown record and earphones represent music that has originated from Detroit the past 50 years.

Eighth-grader Tierra Bascomb stands with Bates Academy art teacher
Robin McDaniels (left) and Skillman Foundation President & CEO Carol
Goss in front of her Motown-themed float, which she'll ride on during
America's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Seventh-grader Freddie Burse from Clippert Academy drawing of a colorful turtle was transformed into a 35-foot, vibrant, bright-eyed sea turtle balloon that he'll walk next to during the parade. The entries by Burse and Bascomb were selected among hundreds that the Parade Co. received.

The Foundation's balloon and float contest, which was open to all Detroit Public Schools students in grades fourth through eighth, encourages students to participate in a rewards-based competition that is educational, fun, creative and positively promotes Detroit. The contest gives children an opportunity to contribute to positive programs and build stronger communities in Detroit while supporting new and creative elements for America's Thanksgiving Parade.

America's Thanksgiving Parade is one of the country's largest and most spectacular parades. Established in 1924, it fills Woodward Avenue with holiday magic. The event begins at 9:20 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and runs along Woodward from Mack to Congress avenues.

Honorable Mention winners (from left): Steve Michel, De’Sha Downer,
Cindy Amoles, Asia Abney, Alexis Barajas, Elba Lara, Juan Orozco,
Alexis Edge, Felicia Salinas, Jailene Sanchez and Sydney Aldridge.
Not pictured: Monica Garcia.

Several students also received honorable mention awards:

  • Float: Alexis Barajas, 7th grade, Clippert Academy; Monica Garcia, 8th grade, Clippert Academy; Asia Abney, 5th grade, Fleming Academy; Cindy Amoles, 4th grade, Cesar Chavez Academy; De'Sha Downer, 5th grade, Clara B. Rutherford; Steve Michel, 4th grade, Latino Family Services After School Program.
  • Balloon: Elba Lara, 6th grade, Clipper Academy; Juan Grozco, 6th grade, Clippert Academy; Alexis Edge, 8th grade, Bates Academy; Felicia Salinas, 4th grade, Harms Elementary; Jailene Sanchez, 5th grade, Cesar Chavez Academy; Sydney Aldridge, 6th grade, Bates Academy.

To see past winners, please click here .

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, Cody/Rouge and the Northend - and toward innovative and successful schools throughout the city of Detroit.