More than a parade: Byler Road Project looks to fund scholarships for seniors

A Moulton couple hoping to give back to their community said their dream of starting a scholarship fund for Lawrence County high school seniors motivated them to form the Byler Road Project—the new organization responsible for planning a Mardi Gras Parade in Moulton this February.

Marvin and Elayne Jackson, owners of The Hot Spot restaurant on Byler Road in Moulton, officially started the organization early this year. On Monday, the Byler Road Project held its first meeting and initiated its first committee members, Elayne Jackson said.

“We’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time,” she said. “Marvin and I planned on starting a scholarship fund, but we had lots of interest from other partners throughout the community.”

As of Monday, she said the Byler Road Project had enough funding from its committee members to grant one scholarship to a Lawrence County high school senior. 

Jackson said plans are to continue fundraising to grow the scholarship fund to include two or three more recipients.

One such fundraiser is the Byler Road Project’s upcoming Mardi Gras Parade, which the organization hopes to make an annual event for Moulton. 

The parade is set for Friday, Feb. 25, and will feature a Mardi Gras King and Queen.

As of Tuesday, the Byler Road Project accepted nine nominations for the honorary positions, though only one King and Queen will be crowned, Jackson said. 

Those nominees include Billy Johnson, Mylan Mitchell, Marvin Jackson and Jim Roberts for Mardi Gras King, and Savannah Johnson, Ashley Biser, Caren Stewart, Morgan Jones and Heather Hutto for Queen.

Votes may be cast for one man and one woman to determine the King and Queen, Jackson explained. Votes are cast by making donations to the Byler Road Project scholarship fund. Sponsorships are also being accepted, she said.

Those who wish to donate or secure a business sponsorship can make payments to the PayPal account via Donors should include the name of the nominee they wish to vote for in the message portion of the payment screen. 

Parade organizer Brittany Alred said she has already felt much support from the community as plans for the parade are being announced.

“A lot of people in the community seem to be excited for something new in town everyone can be involved in,” she said. 

Alred said the route will include a portion of Byler Road and should be finalized and posted online sometime this week. 

For those interested in participating in the parade, the deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 18. Fees and forms must be turned in by 2 p.m. on the deadline she said.

Fees are $20 for floats and towing vehicles and $10 for  decorated car, motorcycle, ATV, UTV or golf cart. No four wheelers or three wheelers will be permitted.

Jackson said proceeds from parade fees will also go towards the scholarship fund.

Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place floats, Alred added. First place will take home $100, and second and third place winners will each be awarded $50.

Registration forms may be dropped off at Moulton Nutrition on Court Street Your at The Hot Spot on Byler Road. 

For more information about the Byler Road Project or the Mardi Gras Parade, contact 256-522-1228, or message the group on Facebook.

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