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James Clemens ‘recycles’ homecoming parade for food banks, children

James Clemens High School's homecoming parade on Oct. 16 will line up at the Infinity Skate Park on Mill Road and end at Madison City Schools Stadium on Celtic Drive. (CONTRIBUTED)
James Clemens High School’s homecoming parade on Oct. 16 will line up at the Infinity Skate Park on Mill Road and end at Madison City Schools Stadium on Celtic Drive. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – James Clemens High School’s third homecoming parade on Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. will define a new tradition with the emphasis on ‘help,’ not ‘hype.’

James Clemens will clash with the Sparkman High School Senators for homecoming on Oct. 17. In planning, “the problem of how to do homecoming floats raised its ugly head,” math department lead Melanie Turner said.

“We didn’t want lame floats” nor to spend outlandish money and time. “‘Impeach the Senators’? It all felt flat,” Turner said. “We were stuck.”

Finally, they realized their discontent was due to wasted resources. Students decided to use float materials that could be donated afterwards. They could apply time and resources to help others and give back to the community.

“That fit,” Turner said. “That’s what James Clemens is all about.”

Juniors will decorate their float, “Can the Senators,” with donated canned food for Manna House. Toilet paper and paper goods for the sophomores’ “Roll Over the Senators” will go to the Downtown Rescue Mission.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is fighting breast cancer. Competition cheerleaders are collecting green beans for the rescue mission for “Beat Sparkman, ‘Bean’ There Done That.”

“Custodians are collecting plastic bottles for the freshman float, ‘Soak the Senators.’ They will recycle empty ones and donate new bottled water to The Boys and Girls Club,” Turner said.

Cafeteria employees are collecting boxed food for their “Starve the Senators” float. Radio deejay Mark Harvard with Birmingham’s WDJC aired a phone interview with three SGA executive officers. Numerous parents are assisting.

Float participants will hand out candy for the children, but other students will walk in the parade ‘sell’ balloons to spectators for donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Turner encourages residents to “partner with us” by buying balloons for St. Jude and bringing canned goods, paper products, bottled water, shoes and socks to the school or parade.

“Support all the charities represented and our awesome James Clemens football team as we ‘Beat Sparkman,'” Turner said.

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