Who Deserves to Be Grand Marshal?

Old Timers Parade 2012
Photo by Kathy Tyson

As a former city employee and current member of the Parks & Recreation Committee, I have first-hand experience in how someone is selected as grand marshal of La Vergne parades. As an employee, I sat down with the mayor and the director of P&R and we talked over who has made significant contributions to the city over the years or whose contributions to society in general are significant.

Historically, some of the folks we chose included:

  • Bob Simon (Mr. Bob) who has worked with Boy Scouts AND with the city for years volunteering his time
  • Mary Jane Skinner, city volunteer, former employee of Roy Waldron Elementary School, and member of LaVergne Rescue
  • Larry Flowers, former news reporter and current PIO for Murfreesboro PD
  • Members of the La Vergne Senior Center
  • Rolling Thunder on behalf of POWs and MIAs
  • Margie Murphy, city historian
  • Tonya and Ricky Cook who spearheaded numerous pro-bike racing fundraisers for multiple sclerosis

We selected people who were quite deserving. And now – thanks to efforts by the Parks & Recreation Committee to get feedback from the community – nominations are now open for people who have donated years of service to the city without expecting to be rewarded for their work. Nominations could also be people who set an extraordinary example for others to follow.

If you know someone unassuming and deserving, nominations are now open. From the city website:

Nominations can be sent in by filling out the nomination form online. Nominators must submit at least 150 words or can also fill out the form and drop it off at or mail it to City Hall, C/O Anne Smith, 5093 Murfreesboro Road, La Vergne, TN 37086. Each nominator may only submit one name for the 2019 Grand Marshal and duplicate submissions for any one nominee will not increase their chance of selection.

Some ideas:

Toni Craddock managed the Christmas for Children and Seniors on behalf of the police department for YEARS. Now retired, she helped hundreds – if not thousands – of families at both Christmas and Thanksgiving. Children (entire families!) who would have no Christmas gifts were able to celebrate the holidays directly because of Toni (with help of course from an army of police officers and others who stepped in to help).

Deborah Balthrop is a former employee with Tennessee Voices and staffed the Chamber of Commerce in La Vergne for years. She has aided countless families by providing housing counseling, advocating for special needs children and parents, and for providing ideas for the city that included the establishment of the farmers market, building a playground at Lake Forest Park, and supplying grant information for projects that include a walking trail and fishing pier at Hurricane Creek.

Meghan Debeaord is the youngest member of any La Vergne committee. She is still in her teens and serves on the Stormwater Advisory Board. We need young adults like Meghan to make their voices heard – we need their ideas about how we can make La Vergne a better place to live!

Azrael Robinson, Dylan Norton, and Kerolos Girgis are students at La Vergne High School. Azrael has been bullied but always maintained a wonderful outlook and showed kindness to others. Dylan and Kerolos saw he was going through a difficult time and surprised him with new Nike shoes and new clothes – a moment that was captured on video and went viral. Their positivity needs to be rewarded!

If you want to nominate someone, CLICK HERE!

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