Seven-year-old cancer survivor Benjamin Davis was the grand marshal of the 2011 Baker County Lighted Christmas Parade on December 3.
Benjamin, along with his mother Valerie Davis, rode on a special float created just for him by the PreK/Kindergarten Center where he is a student.
“It was so wonderful,” Ms. Davis said earlier this week. “Finding out Ben was to be the Grand Marshal and then having the PreK Center build a float to celebrate his blanket project. I was so impressed at how everyone down there pulled together to do this.
“Benjamin loved it. His favorite part of the float was the lights. And when he saw the blankets he said, ‘Mom! We got even more!”’
Benjamin was diagnosed with cancer last spring and immediately began chemotherapy treatments that conclude December 23. According to his family, doctors have recently given him a “cancer free” report.
The young man, with help from family and friends, launched a community blanket drive earlier in the fall. His goal is to collect blankets this Christmas for the children on the oncology wards at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Nemours Children’s Clinic where he has been a patient.
The Davis family says the response from businesses, schools, churches and individuals in the community has been more than they could have imagined.
With the help of guidance counselor Becky Nix who acted as coordinator, the PreK Center began collecting blankets weeks ago for the cause and to date has accumulated more than 200.