The Parade Company Brings Winning Student’s Design To Life During 24th Annual Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest

1 IMG_0173Talented eighth grade student Ayress Goss of Ludington Magnet Honors School in Detroit saw her artistic creation brought to life for the first time today at The Parade Company, when she was announced as the 24th Annual Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest winner, Wednesday, November 18.

Goss’s drawing entitled “Family Time” was transformed into a magical float, which features a giant tree with an oversized slide spiraling down its trunk into a pile of colorful autumn leaves. The float features an 80-foot wrap which incorporates the 2015 Honorable Mention winning designs along with other entry favorites. Goss will be joined by her family as she accompanies her float along the parade route during the 89th annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van.

The artists, their families, teachers and principals attended the unveiling. Five honorable mention winners were selected and invited to see their drawings on display. The students include: Charles Hickman Jr. (8th grade student, Bates Academy) for his work “Detroit Film City School,” Micah Sanders (6th grade student, Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies) for her work “The Park,” Jalvan McGowan (6th grade student, Henry Ford Academy for Creative Studies) for his work “The Zoo,” Summer Loren (8th grade student, Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School) for her work “Roselawn Public Library” and Reanna Patton (7th grade student, Bates Academy) for her work “Year Round Ice Rink.” Representatives from The Parade Company and the Skillman Foundation joined the students for this special occasion.

“I can’t think of a better way to display the artistic talent of Detroit students than to bring their vision to life in America’s Thanksgiving Parade,” said Tonya Allen, president & CEO of the Skillman Foundation. “Having a student-inspired float appear in the parade for the nation to see is a tremendous way to highlight our young talent.”

“The Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest is an opportunity for students to feature their art in a walking exhibit on Thanksgiving morning,” said Tony Michaels, president & CEO, The Parade Company. “We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with the Skillman Foundation, which has given so many the joy of seeing the students’ reactions when they watch their floats come to life.” 

The Skillman Foundation
Created in 1960, the Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy committed to improving meaningful graduation rates in the Detroit region, so kids are ready for college, career, and life. The Foundation has assets of nearly a half-billion dollars, with an annual grants budget of $17 million. The Foundation works to achieve its goal by investing in community leadership, neighborhoods, safety initiatives, high-quality schools, social innovation, and youth development. 

About The Parade Company
Founded in 1984, 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. The Parade Company is celebrating 89 years of Parade tradition in Detroit and is committed to funding, creating and executing the best family events in Michigan. The Parade Company staff, board of directors and thousands of parade volunteers work year-round to bring a wide variety of magnificent events to the City of Detroit and the region including the Ford Fireworks, Hob Nobble Gobble® presented by Ford Motor Company, Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot and America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van. Follow The Parade Company on Facebook and Twitter. 

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