Student's vibrant neighborhood floats its way into Parade

DETROIT — Beautiful homes. A library. Hospital. Roller coaster. Ferris wheel.

Those are the essentials created by Duke Ellington Conservatory eighth-grader Zacyrus Gaiter in his representation of his dream neighborhood. His drawing, "Dreams Do Come True," earned him the The Skillman Foundation winning float design for the 84th America's Thanksgiving Parade.

The Parade Studio in Detroit unveiled the winning float Thursday with the winning artist, honorable mention recipients, their families, teachers and principals in attendance. Gaiter will accompany his float along the parade route on Thanksgiving morning.

Honorable mention winners include Leslie Basilio, sixth grade, Clippert Academy; Romance Keyser, fourth grade, University Prep Academy; Jayson Maryland, fifth grade, Farwell Leadership Academy; Bryan Hardy, sixth grade, Ivan Ludington Magnet; and  Francisco Villagomez, eighth grade, Clippert Academy.

To learn more about this annual Thanksgiving tradition and see photos of past winners, click here .

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. For more information on The Parade Company, visit www.theparade.org .

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