For the second time in as many years Piedmont Credit Union is honored to have been awarded the Corporate Cup at the Riverview Rotary Christmas Parade! The theme of the parade was "An Old Fashioned Christmas". Our float, entitled "Coming Home", was unique in that it did much more than convey Holiday Good Wishes, it told a story based loosely on true to life events.
The scene started in 1944 Europe during World War II when U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class Russell T. Denny Sr. embarks on a trip which he hopes will bring him home on Christmas Eve. First he sails the high seas on the USS Piedmont . Then he makes his way through a train station until he finally boards the train for Danville. Upon arriving at his home he walks past the old oak tree with yellow ribbon displayed and into his house and the loving arms of his wife and children. It is our hope that this "Coming Home" story will again be seen in the homes of the many soldiers currently serving in harm's way. Our float and this award are dedicated to them.
The float featured several authentic 1940's props. The hat worn by our sailor was an originial World War II era Navy hat. The flag on the ship was a 48 star U.S. flag. The end table in the "house" was actually owned by the Denny's. We even had an originial Edison phonograph that was to be in the "house" but at the last minute we decided not to use it due to concern that it might be damaged with all the stopping and starting during the parade.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the following:
- Jason Swaringen of Triple "S" Trucking for giving us a ride down Main street.
- Our friends from River of Life Church who helped contruct and deconstruct the float and it's various components both large and small.
- Laura Reid, our newest member service representative, who provided a generator, and several other props and whose children were part of the cast.
- Kimberly Hairston and Miracle Hopkins who were cast members on the float.
- Gabe Errecalde for helping construct the structures used on the float. He did in a few hours what would have taken the rest of us a few days!
- Thanks to the Payne's, Harrison's & Liberty's for walking alongside the float during the parade.
- Imperial Antiques  for providing the original World War II sailor's hat.
- E-Plus Thrift Store  in Roxboro for loaning us the Edison phonograph. (Even though we didn't use it.)
- Last but not least, Tom Denny, whose family the story was based on. Tom was there at every turn keeping us motivated and organized. This float would not have come together without him. His stories of his childhood and family were not only entertaining, but inspirational. There certainly is a reason that they called his parents "The Greatest Generation".
Listen to the audio track of our float using the controls below...