The sixth annual Hatton Christmas Parade, happening on Sunday, Dec. 8, will honor and benefit local resident, Brittany Parker, the parade’s Grand Marshal who is battling breast cancer.
Hatton sisters and parade organizers, Taffy Johnson, Tracy Parker and Tara McAbee, found a way to give back to their community when they took the parade on about six years ago, Johnson said.
Each year, entry donations from parade participants are used to pay it forward to a deserving member of their small town. The recipient also gets to serve as Grand Marshal for the parade. This year, that’s 27-year-old Brittany Parker.
Parker and her husband Chanse are parents to four young girls, who are all between the ages of two and seven. Their youngest daughter is also a special needs child, according to Johnson.
Parker was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of this year. Since her diagnosis, she has undergone a bilateral mastectomy, six rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation.
She is continuing a treatment called Herceptin, which is a medication used to treat HER2-positive breast cancer that is either in the early-stage or advanced-stage/metastatic, according to breast cancer.org.
“I will be finished with that treatment course in April 2020. I will have my final exchange surgery in January of next year,” Parker said. “It was a long, hard journey, but I finished it! I could not have gotten through all of the tough times without God, my family, and my community! Thank you, everyone, who has contributed to our family and made this journey easier! As of today, I am very proud to say I am cancer free!”
Johnson said those who come to watch the parade can help give to the cause too. Although there is no entry fee, parade participants are encouraged to provide a donation when they register, and donation boxes will be available for additional contributions from onlookers the day of the event.
All proceeds from the parade will go into a Joe Wheeler EMC utilities account for Parker and her family, Johnson added.
“Our parade committee selected Brittany because she and her family are very deserving of this award,” she said. “We hope everyone plans to attend and give a gift for this wonderful family.”
Lineup for the Hatton Christmas Parade will begin at 1 p.m. at the Hatton High School baseball and softball fields, where the parade will start at 3 p.m.
For more information or to pick up an entry form, call Taffy Johnson at 256-410-6175. Entry forms may also be found at Salon 101.