Englewood prepares for day of remembrance

 SUN FILE PHOTO    Marcella Brown, 16, of Englewood, won Charlotte’s Got Talent in April. She will be singing at three events around the area this weekend, including performing the National Anthem at the Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at Gulf Pines Memorial Park, 2401 Englewood Road, in Englewood, at 9 a.m. Monday.

SUN FILE PHOTO
Marcella Brown, 16, of Englewood, won Charlotte’s Got Talent in April. She will be singing at three events around the area this weekend, including performing the National Anthem at the Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at Gulf Pines Memorial Park, 2401 Englewood Road, in Englewood, at 9 a.m. Monday.

Marcella Brown will be performing three times over Memorial Day weekend, but the young singer, and winner of April’s Charlotte’s Got Talent competition, is most excited about paying tribute to the men and women who served in America’s armed forces.

“I like singing on Memorial Day because the veterans are important and I want to honor them,” Marcella said. “It brings me joy to honor those who have done so much for this country.”

Marcella, 16, will be performing the national anthem at the Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at Gulf Pines Memorial Park, 2401 Englewood Road in Englewood, at 9 a.m. Monday.

“Marcella loves doing it,” said Steve Brown, her father. “Memorial Day is one of the busiest days for her. She’s been (singing at the events) for three to four years. She’s been singing, acting and dancing since she was 5.”

Marcella will be performing once Saturday and once more on Memorial Day following the wreath-laying ceremony.

“There will be a wreath presentation to each branch of service,” said Stacy Jones, community relations director at Lemon Bay Funeral Home and Cremation Service. “Each branch served will have a hymn played during the ceremony.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Roland Watts of the U.S. Army will be the featured guest speaker.

The 9 a.m. ceremony will be preceded by a moment of silence followed bya remembrance of Loranda “Randy” Spence, local veteran who died Dec. 5. The 1.4-acre El Jobean Park on 4333 Kerrigan Circle will be renamed after Spence on May 25, according to Jones. Spence affectionately earned the nickname “Mr. El Jobean” for his years of advocacy.

Other groups in attendance include VFW Posts 10178 and 10476, American Legion Post 113, Rotonda Honor Guard, Lemon Bay High School Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Food will be served at the Clyde E. Lassen VFW Post 10178 on 550 N. McCall Road in Englewood from noon to 2 p.m. following the ceremony.

Also in recognition of those who have served, Emeritus at River Oaks on 925 S. River Road in Englewood, a senior living community, is providing care packages for senior veterans and veterans’ spouses from May 27 to May 31. The care packages contain pill boxes, first aid, snacks, night lights and other items of necessity. They will also get a “medal of honor” card with a pin thanking them.

“The packages are put together through various agencies like Omnicare, Caring.  com  , the Fischer Group, Life Care Funding Group, Gulf South, Kellogg’s and Campbell’s,” said Brenda Peckham, community relations director at Emeritus at River Oaks. “We currently have between 10-15 packages.”

Emeritus offers courtesy checkups on seniors outside of their community for those who inquire. The number of care packages distributed will depend on demand.

For more information on the wreath laying memorial, call 941-474-2413.

For more information on VFW Post 10178, call 941-474-7516.

For more information on Emeritus, call 941-474–8600.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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