Southerland named parade grand marshal

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Local civic leader Al Southerland has been named grand marshal for the 2019 Mount Olive Christmas Parade.

The parade is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Southerland is best known as president of the Men of F.I.C. (Faith, Integrity & Character).

He was chosen by a committee of Mount Olive residents and Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce members.

The person who nominated Southerland wrote, “Mr. Southerland is a true leader in the community. He has had a lifetime of giving, recognizing, assisting and helping others, and it is time to recognize him.”

He is a retired educator.

“Al Southerland’s name rose to the top of the list, because of his unending commitment to our citizens. He is an inspiration to so many,” said chamber President Julie Beck.

He is also a former grand marshal of the town’s 2017 Black History Parade.

He and the Men of FIC have repeatedly partnered with a variety of local organizations to create a greater impact on the community, Beck said.

Southerland has also been a major mover and shaker in the annual free health care program, home-delivering meals to the elderly and the youth back-to-school backpack program.

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