12/03/07 — O'Berry/Cherry join forces to relaunch holiday parade

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O'Berry/Cherry join forces to relaunch holiday parade

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 3, 2007 1:56 PM

After a more than 25-year absence, O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center will have a holiday parade this year.

Dr. Frank Farrell, O'Berry director, said the last parade he can recall the center holding was in 1979 or 1980.

"It used to be something that was looked forward to in this community," said Jennifer Donica, habilitation supervisor at O'Berry and one of the parade's organizers. "We're going to try it again, and we're excited about that."

The theme will be "The Spirit of Christmas."

The event is also important because it links O'Berry and Cherry Hospital, who will host the Christmas parade jointly on Friday at 3 p.m.

"It's exciting because there are a lot of new staff on both sides," said Tanya Rollins, special services director at Cherry.

"We're really looking forward to this," Ms. Donica said.

Cherry has held its own parade in the community for years, averaging 60-75 entries annually.

Penny Withrow, volunteer services coordinator at Cherry, has been fielding entries and says there is plenty of room for others interested in participating, noting that there is no entry fee.

"Right now we have fire trucks, Miss Goldsboro, characters and some floats, Shriners mini-rigs, horses," she said. "We need music and bands."

There will also be traditional favorites like old cars, horses and of course, Santa, Mrs. Rollins said.

Mrs. Withrow also encourages "cheerleaders, baton twirlers, Boy and Girl Scout groups and churches, carolers" to sign up.

"We want it to grow," Mrs. Rollins said. "That's the goal for every year, to get more and more entries."

Prompted by the involvement of the two facilities, the parade's route this year will change slightly. Entries will line up at 2:30, with the parade to kick off at O'Berry's main gate and travel down Old Smithfield Road. It will turn right at Cherry and proceed through the campus.

Parking will be available on either side of Old Smithfield Road between O'Berry and Cherry, Mrs. Rollins said. That road will also be closed during the parade, she added.

For more information or details on how to participate, contact Mrs. Withrow at 731-3417.