Long-time community mentor, friend will lead Aberdeen Christmas parade

ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – A woman who has helped mentor countless people in Monroe County will lead the upcoming Aberdeen Christmas parade.

WCBI was there as the special senior citizen was given the surprise of her life.

Eighty-two-year-old Annie Mae Lenoir says she was surprised when the mayor and other city leaders turned up at Aberdeen’s Head Start, to let her know she would be the Grand Marshal of the Christmas Parade.

“I asked them this morning, said, what’s going on, they said the mayor is coming, I said, oh, yeah. I had to go pick up one of the kids, I had to hurry back because I wanted to see him,” said Lenoir.

Ms. Annie Mae has worked at Head Start since 1991 and has come to be known as a mother and grandmother to countless people around Aberdeen and Monroe County.

“When we mentioned her name, everyone said, yes, I know her. And she’s out there still driving the bus. And to be able to touch so many generations in our community. A lot of people don’t have that grandmother, or mother, she’s been a mother to our whole community and is very special,” said Aberdeen Mayor Charles Scott.

“It was a unanimous decision with the parade committee to have her serve as our Grand Marshal. All years of dedication and service she has provided and is still providing. She is an inspiration to us all and is still an inspiration, to be able to do what she does, with a smile on her face, we all have no excuse we need to do our part as well,” said Tina Robbins of the Aberdeen Visitors Bureau.

She is also a breast cancer survivor, now in remission. Ms. Annie Mae says it’s a blessing to be able to come to work every day at Head Start.

“I’m a seven-year cancer survivor, I lost a son seven years ago, I lost three sons, and I’m 82 and I keep going. And with God’s help and He keeps me strong. I wake up every morning and tell Him ‘thank you’ and lay down every night and tell Him ‘thank you’,” said Lenoir.

Right before the surprise announcement, Ms. Annie Mae had just dropped off a student here at Head Start. And this afternoon, like every afternoon she will take students back home on her bus route, proving that age is no factor when it comes to serving others.

Aberdeen’s Christmas Parade is set for December sixth at 6:30 in the evening.

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