Eloise Gass of Tree City welcomes all to 2019's edition of the Dade Public Library's Read to Lead.
The Dade County Public Library's fifth annual Read to Lead was Saturday, and kids and their parents flooded reliably into the library though the weather was perfect for playing outside. Perhaps it helped that the event spills outside onto the Trenton town square when weather permits.
But the highlight of Read to Lead is always when local leaders read to the kids. At left, Trenton Mayor Alex Case takes his turn.
This year's theme was "community helpers," the men and women paid and unpaid, employed or volunteer, whom a kid might turn to for help of some kind--heck, whom a person of any age might turn to for help of some kind. This turned out to be just about everybody The Planet sees in its diurnal eccentric orbit around Dade and the Rising Fawn Metro Area. Let's meet a few of them in this pleasant periodic Planet pictorial.
Police officers are one kind of helper, obviously. But, pointed out the Bank of Dade table close by, so are bank employees. Here Detective Cyndi Thurman of the Dade County Sheriff's Office poses with Bank of Dade's Audrey Clark, the bank's new community liaison, who was bustling busily through the library on Saturday, being, well, helpful.
The Dade County Sheriff's Office was in fact heavily represented at this year's do. At left is one of that office's highest-profile cops, Maj. Tommy Bradford, who became Dade's local hero last summer when he was run down on Highway 11 during a high-speed chase from Alabama. Bradford lost a leg in the incident and the county rallied around him in a feverish show of love and support that has still not died down altogether.
Now Major Tommy's getting around pretty well with a prosthetic leg, and the county was delighted to get a peek at him at Read to Lead, where he manned a table with his photogenic wife, Mary Ann, also a DCSO employee.
Don't forget, though, that small as Dade is, it has two local law enforcement agencies, not just a sheriff's department but a municipal police department for the city of Trenton. Manning--or womanning--the TPD's station at Read to Lead were cute pretend-cop Shea Coleman and cute real-cop Chief Christy Smith, Trenton's pulchritudinous police pontiff.
Chief Smith explained that Shea's daddy is an officer in the department, and that the Coleman girls help out with Read to Lead every year.
Here's the other Coleman girl, Aleah, milking Clover, the Dade 4-H cow. Waiting her turn is Braley Castleberry.
Another kind of community helper who might not spring immediately to mind is your friendly neighborhood hairdresser. But who else you gonna turn to when your bangs are getting into your eyes and driving you nuts?
Hairdressers had a special room to themselves, where they gave kids free haircuts. Some cuttees seemed to enjoy the experience more than others.
And here's The Planet's annual obligatory pony pic. Much as the county's kids love to read--and to be read to by the county's fearless leaders--can anything really beat riding a pony? Noah's Ark Petting Zoo furnishes the farm animals each year.
Finally, let's not forget the library staff themselves as seriously important community helpers. They not only help patrons find books and access the internet, they host this and a dazzling array of other community events throughout the year.
The Planet didn't find library manager Marshana Sharp at Read to Lead though frankly The Planet was in hot pursuit--rumor had it that the altitudinous-footwear-addicted manager was running so hard this year, coordinating the event, that she had resorted to wearing sneakers. Alas, if that was true, it is not to be attested in these pages; perhaps due to the agility imparted by her unaccustomedly sensible shoes, Ms. Sharp eluded The Planet's best efforts. Here instead is a file shot of our hostess at another event she organizes each year, the library's annual Trick or Treat Alley.
Thanks for a good time, Marshana! And thanks to the other library staffers and to all the other community helpers whose mugs did not make it into this melange. Readers, if you missed this do, come to the next one. There's nothing nicer than communing with the community!