Waugh, Theresa Laymon, Tanya Burns & Jennifer Walker

It may seem months away – or galaxies away, but Jeff Good says it can be done. He is referring to the seemingly insurmountable task of helping to pull together a big weekend in Fondren, just ten weeks away as the Sweet Potato Queens® descend upon the neighborhood. In a planning meeting Monday night at Duling Hall, Good said “sometimes you push against the world – and you move it.” And that movement he is pushing for is a wave of volunteers – over 100 who will be needed. From carnival volunteers to citizen ambassadors, cleanup crews and parking attendants, the turnout among the neighborhood, organizers said, will be key to the success of the event.  Fondren Association of Business president David Waugh said remembering the reason for the weekend is key. “This is for Blair E. Batson,” he said, noting the recipient of all funds raised by Jill Conner Browne’s Sweet Potato Queens™. The March 24-26 event culminates with a Saturday carnival, gospel music tent, and night time Fondren parade. Waugh reiterated that this is a family friendly event and called upon civic, school, church, scouting, or other groups that want to help out to come forward.

Meeting organizers praised the Hal & Mal’s St. Paddy’s parade, noting this is a separate event. Browne, they say, wanted something new that gave her a chance to raise even more money for the childrens’ hospital. And with the annual Sal & Mookie’s spring anniversary carnival, she found a perfect tie in. “They both benefit Batson,” Good said, “so this is a win-win-win – for her, for the kids, and for Fondren.”

A volunteer meeting is set for Monday, January 17 at Sal & Mookie’s in Fondren at 5:30pm. Light snacks will be provided. Wish to volunteer? Visit ZippityDooDahParade.com.