It’s in our nature here in Louisiana to celebrate with a parade, and this pandemic has not stopped our party from rolling.

Like every event since March, our local parading custom looks different, but the spirit of celebrating continues to roll.

For their October service project, Holy Ghost School recently had a socially distanced cancer walk around campus. In lieu of their uniform tops, students were permitted to wear a shirt representing a color associated with the cancer cause of their choice for a fundraiser to benefit our local Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. The students were also encouraged to create a poster depicting the cancer cause of their choice.

Many students chose pink to honor Jennifer Owens, a HGS teacher and breast cancer survivor, and included her “Faith Over Fear” motto in their design. Quite a few students, including Sal Demarco, chose to make posters covered in blue ribbons in support of colon cancer. Others chose to decorate their posters with multicolored ribbons or rainbows, covering the entire spectrum of colors that represent a variety of cancers, such as gray for brain, orange for leukemia, and red for blood cancer.

Following this event, Holy Ghost School’s next scheduled function is a modified version of their fall fair to be held on the last weekend in October. Due to the pandemic, there will be no rides. But there will still be a Parish Fall Fest Raffle, which includes tickets for chances to win a golf cart, cash up to $1000, a $5000 Disney gift card, or paid tuition to either HGS or St. Thomas Aquinas High.

There will be an online Silent Auction as well, which goes live on Oct. 28 on the Handbid app. There will also be drive-through food options throughout the weekend. For more information about the upcoming activities associated with the HGS fall fest, check out their Facebook page or call the school office at 985-345-0977.

Also enjoying a recent parade was area resident Dorthea Perrin. In honor of her 98th birthday, friends and family surprised her with a car parade. My friend and fellow writer, Kathryn Martin had such a wonderful time at this event, she was moved to write about it. For those of you who miss reading the eloquent writing of Kathryn in The Daily Star, the following is the excerpt she sent me, written in that witty style of hers.

From dark clouds and constant rain Saturday, Sept. 19, Ponchatoula’s Memorial Park started out empty…

Empty, that is, until early afternoon when vehicles began to arrive from all directions, backing onto gravel parking spaces and along the streets nearby, readying to pull out in an orderly manner at 2:00 on the dot.

Rain made it impossible to see who the people were, but it couldn’t drown out the excitement felt – the excitement of getting in on a surprise drive-by 98th birthday party for Dorthea Perrin a few streets over.

Mrs. Perrin, one of the area’s most beloved ladies, longtime journalist and recent first-time book author, had hoped a few of her friends would drive by and wave.

Was she ever in for a surprise!

Seated on the porch with beaming members of her immediate family, she looked up to see a pickup truck from the fire department followed by friends and relatives galore, including Ponchatoula Mayor Bob Zabbia and wife, Kim.

Numerous vehicles came adorned with flags and birthday banners, drivers and passengers blowing horns and waving party streamers from windows.

Talk about a dull, dark day turning bright from the happy smiles on that porch, so happy that some of us waited our turns and went around again.

Thanks to the Perrin family for letting us be a part of such a special occasion and as one member called out to us from the porch, “We’ll be right here in 2021 for her 99th birthday!”

And we’ll be there too!

Ah, yes, it’s always a delight to read something written by the talented Kathryn J. Martin. So, in honor of her style, I’ll end my column here saying, “Well, I guess I’m out of room…” Check back next week to read about what else is continuing to roll on in OhmyHammond!

Pamela Cali Bankston, R.N., is the published author of the Frizzy Frieda Books and board member of the Hammond Regional Arts Council.

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