BY RACHEL PITTMAN
Particular to The Sumter Merchandise
Mayesville is a quiet, nostalgic place, a small city sq. surrounded by Southern estates that harken again to a distinct time.
However on Saturday, the city sq. will come alive with music, carnival rides, academic alternatives, a parade and extra for the 2019 Mary McLeod Bethune Legacy Competition, a day of studying, historical past and pageant enjoyable in honor of the city’s most well-known daughter – Mary McLeod Bethune.
“We wish to acquaint the long run generations with the legacy of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune,” Mayesville Mayor Jereleen Hollimon-Miller, herself a great-grandniece of Bethune, mentioned. “We wish to encourage the youngsters to stroll in her footsteps throughout this occasion by means of the values and causes she espoused.”
Bethune was born in a log cabin close to Mayesville in 1875 and labored throughout her childhood within the space choosing cotton. She turned a lifelong advocate for training, a pacesetter of the civil and girls’s rights actions, an adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a vice chairman of the NAACP. The pageant in Mayesville started in 1998 to give attention to preserving the “Mom of Training’s” legacy of studying.
This 12 months’s pageant will characteristic an on-site DJ, carnival rides, meals distributors and superstar company, together with retired Harlem Globetrotters Bobby Hunter and Larry Rivers, NFL legends Jamie Dukes, Flip Johnson, James Gossett, Terrence Campbell, Dexter Davis and Keith Williams, world heavyweight boxing champion James Smith and lots of others.
The weekend will kick off on Friday from 6 to eight p.m. with a star dinner that includes boxing legend Kelvin Seabrooks that’s open to the general public at Golden Corral in Sumter. The occasion will proceed on Saturday at 7 a.m. with the Within the Footsteps of Dr. Bethune Stroll-A-Thon and breakfast hosted by the Lee County part of the Nationwide Council of Negro Girls, adopted by a parade at 11 a.m. that would be the official begin of the day’s festivities. Choose Larry Grimes, interim president of Bethune-Cookman College, would be the grand marshal.
The pageant, which begins at midday and can embrace singer/songwriter Candi Staton, is about greater than leisure. The theme for this 12 months’s occasion is “Empowering Communities by means of Well being, Historical past, Artwork, STEM Training, Music and Sports activities,” and the organizers take this theme severely.
“We have made a sport that shall be accessible on the pageant on tablets,” Competition Chairman Ed Miller mentioned. “It is similar to every other online game, however it’s received an emphasis on literacy. They will get their mother and father concerned, and church buildings and libraries and different establishments may even purchase the software program.”
The software program shall be free and open to the general public on the pageant. It was created along with Flink Studying, a digital training group based mostly in Massachusetts.
Well being training alternatives shall be accessible to those that come out for the pageant, too. The AIDS Healthcare Basis, a worldwide nonprofit that gives data and care to people residing with HIV, can have its Columbia-based cell unit there, offering attendees with free screenings and well being care data.
“It is so essential for folks to be educated about this,” AHF Columbia pharmacy liaison Gary Rhett mentioned. “We wish to get the phrase out down [in Mayesville] as a result of folks of all ages have to learn about this. They should be examined and have to know, in the event that they do take a look at constructive, how they will obtain therapy.”
Actually a mixture of celebration and training, the pageant will final all day on Saturday, making the city of Mayesville a group middle of studying, advocacy and enjoyable for all ages for a day.
“That is about wanting ahead and transferring ahead – inspiring folks to discover a legacy of their very own,” Hollimon-Miller mentioned. “That is for folks to check out the previous after which see what they wish to do with that transferring ahead.
The Mary McLeod Bethune Legacy Competition is freed from cost, although sure concessions, video games and rides will value a small price. Attendees are invited to convey their very own garden chairs.
For extra data on attending or sponsoring the pageant, go to www.thebethunefestival.com or name (803) 614-0413.